Sydney Davenport and Dawn Richard, NewsVision and Howard University News Service
WASHINGTON–After securing their 17th NCAA national championship title, the University of Alabama’s football team was welcomed to the White House by Donald Trump on Tuesday.
“It was truly a win for the ages,” said Trump before turning around to the players and saying that he was there [watching] even though the players may not have been aware. The team was able to pull a victory after going into overtime with Georgia.
Trump noted that the Alabama football team is “football excellence” and that Nick Saban could turn his knowledge of the game into profit. “Coach you have to explain that. You could sell that secret, make a lot of money,” said the business mogul and president.
Saban has now won six NCAA football national championships, five during his 11 years with the Alabama team and one during his time as the head coach of LSU in 2003. Despite Saban being tied with one other coach for most NCAA football championship, Trump is the first president that invited the coach to the Oval Office during the visit.
“You’ve been here six times, and this is your first time in the Oval,” Trump said to Saban during the ceremony. “See they didn’t invite you. Trump invites you.”
Before noting how great of a winner Saban is and introducing him, the president stated the team’s superb defense made their opponents quit. He then added, “We’re doing that to a lot of people too,” in reference to the Trump administration.
Nicole Dicocco, a Roll Tide fan, came to see Nick Saban, who uses her brother’s book in his locker room. “My late brother was a football coach and he wrote a character development program called ‘The Real Man’ and Nick Saban uses it in his locker room with his players.”
Dicocco explained that her brother wrote the book using football terminology to teach young men how to respect women and themselves and how to live a meaningful life. Dicocco enjoyed being able to witness the Alabama team and Nick Saban being recognized once again at the White House on the sunny afternoon.
The welcoming concluded with President Trump receiving his own Crimson Tide jersey from the winning football team with “17” and TRUMP on the back of it.
This will be Saban’s last visit to the White House as the Tuscaloosa team’s head coach is going to retire.