Creighton on Thursday suspended men’s basketball coach Greg McDermott from all team activities for using the word “plantation” twice in a locker-room speech to his team. It also said that “further sanctions remain under consideration.”
McDermott will miss at least the Bluejays’ regular-season finale Saturday against Big East opponent Butler.
Athletic director Bruce Rasmussen said in a prepared statement that McDermott’s remarks “were not in alignment with Creighton’s commitment to racial equity, diversity and respect.” Rasmussen said that he and university president Rev. Daniel Hendrickson met with players to determine “appropriate sanctions” against McDermott.
McDermott said this week that the players turned down his offer to resign over what he said to them following a loss to Xavier on Feb. 27.
“This is their team,” McDermott said (per the Omaha World-Herald) in a radio interview that aired Wednesday before Creighton’s loss to Villanova. “If they would have chosen to have me walk away, I would have walked away. But that is not what they wanted.” He said he offered to quit Sunday, the day after he used the word.
The coach tweeted a preemptive apology Tuesday night that included a quote of what he told his players: “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 has been Creighton’s men’s coach since the start of the 2010-11 season. Assistant coach Al Huss will coach the team in McDermott’s absence.
UPDATE: McDermott wrote in a quote tweet of Creighton’s announcement: “I made a mistake and I own it. Mistakes come with consequences, and I accept and agree with the suspension.”