Richard Lipsey has been to the White House before and even met with U.S. presidents.
But the businessman and LSU Tigers booster, who accompanied the championship LSU football team on its ceremonial trip to the White House this morning, says this visit was unlike anything he’s ever experienced.
Lipsey, who was the first TAF president and says he was invited by LSU coach Ed Orgeron to make the trip, says the group arrived around 9 a.m. and was allowed to roam around the ground floor for nearly an hour, admiring the artwork and soaking up the history.
“It was fantastic,” he says. “They let us walk all over, into rooms I’ve never seen before. I enjoyed seeing the portraits of all the past presidents.”
At 10 a.m. they were called into the East Room, where they met with President Donald Trump, who spoke to the group and joked with them for nearly an hour.
Trump reportedly highlighted the work of several individual members of the team, including quarterback Joe Burrow, saying of Burrow, “we call him young Tom Brady.”
Of the team’s coach, Trump says he would have picked Ed Orgeron if he were casting actors for a movie.
“Ed Orgeron did not let Louisiana down,” Trump said.
When that gathering concluded, the team and entourage followed the president to the Oval Office, where they lined up and each took an individual picture with Trump behind his desk.
“I’ve never seen a president spend that much time engaged with a group before,” Lipsey says.
While the gathering lasted for two hours, it didn’t actually include lunch at the White House, as was previously reported. Instead, the team went back to the Marriott for a celebratory feast.
Besides the team, its coaches, athletic director Scott Woodward and interim LSU President Thomas Galligan, others on the trip included Board of Supervisors Chair Mary Werner and TAF chair Brian Cheramie.