Washington - US
President Donald Trump has rejected ESPN's invitation to fill out a
bracket for the national college basketball tournament, something his
predecessor Barack Obama had done for the past eight years.
Obama, known as a basketball fan, had his bracket unveiled on the
US-based sports network with picks filmed in the Oval Office, but ESPN
announced Wednesday that the tradition would end this year.
"We expressed our interest to the White House in continuing the
presidential bracket. They have respectfully declined," an ESPN
spokesman said in a statement.
Obama filled out brackets for the National Collegiate Athletic
Association (NCAA) men's and women's tournament with ESPN reporter Andy
Katz, correctly selecting North Carolina as the eventual men's champion
"He wasn't as dialed in to every player or team but had
conversational knowledge to offer his own analysis on the NCAA
tournament for the men's and women's game," Katz said of Obama.
"'Baracketology' was a success because it was clear he was a fan of
the sport and the NCAA tournament, like millions of other Americans."
Trump did not close the door on future ESPN appearances.
"We look forward to working with ESPN on another opportunity in the
near future," White House spokeswoman Hope Hicks said in an email to The
Trump, a former American football owner of the New Jersey Generals in
the would-be NFL rival US Football League, did pick the New England
Patriots to win the Super Bowl in a pre-game interview earlier this
In December, Trump attended the annual Army-Navy American football game.