Creighton University has suspended men’s basketball coach Greg McDermott after he used an inappropriate analogy in the locker room following Saturday’s loss at Xavier.
Creighton director of athletics Bruce Rasmussen announced Thursday night that a group of university leaders, including president Fr. Daniel Hendrickson, determined that McDermott would be suspended from all team activities, including Saturday’s regular-season finale against Butler.
“Fr. Hendrickson and I engaged with other seniors leaders in dialogue and discussion regarding appropriate sanctions for the remarks made by Head Men’s Basketball Coach Greg McDermott that were not in alignment with Creighton’s commitment to racial equity, diversity and respect,” Rasmussen’s statement reads. “Further sanctions remain under consideration, not all of which will be shared publicly. Assistant Coach Al Huss will serve as Interim Head Coach.
“Coach McDermott and our Athletics program must use this incident as an opportunity for growth and learning, as clearly more work needs to be done.”
In an apology Tuesday, McDermott said he told the team after the loss to Xavier that, “Guys, we got to stick together. We need both feet in. I need everybody to stay on the plantation. I can’t have anybody leave the plantation.”
McDermott responded to Rasmussen’s statement Thursday on Twitter.
“I made a mistake and I own it,” McDermott, Creighton’s coach since 2010, tweeted two days after saying he used a terribly inappropriate analogy. “Mistakes come with consequences, and I accept and agree with the suspension.”
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Assistant coach Terrence Rencher released a statement regarding the incident.
“Let me address what Coach McDermott said: I am deeply hurt by his words.” Rencher said. “While my relationship with Coach has been positive and I have never witnessed any racist energy from him, what he said was wrong and insensitive. ‘Plantation’ had a dark and hurtful history in my community and can’t be overlooked.”
Creighton is ranked 14th in The Associated Press poll and carries a 17-7 record into the Butler game, which will be the Bluejays’ final preparation for the Big East Conference Tournament.