Creighton Coach Greg McDermott Suspended For Racially Insensitive Comment

By Jason Hall

March 5, 2021

St. John's v Creighton

Creighton men's basketball coach Greg McDermott has been suspended from all team activities after making racially insensitive comments to his players last week, the school announced in an official statement.

The athletic department's decision came two days after the university said it would keep any disciplinary action taken against McDermott confidential.

"After our Creighton men's basketball team returned to Omaha earlier today, Fr. Hendrickson and I engaged with other senior 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," athletic director Bruce Rasmussen said in a statement obtained by ESPN. "Coach McDermott and the team have accepted that, effective immediately, he is suspended from all team activities, including Saturday's home season finale against Butler. Further sanctions remain under consideration, not all of which will be shared publicly.
"Coach McDermott and our Athletic program must use this incident as an opportunity for growth and learning, as clearly more work needs to be done."

McDermott apologized Tuesday (March 2) after referencing a "plantation" to his players following the Bluejays' loss to Xavier last week.

"Specifically, I said: '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 said.

During an appearance on Creighton's pregame radio show Wednesday -- prior to coaching the Bluejays against Villanova -- McDermott claimed he offered to resign over the comments, but said his players supported him staying on the staff.

"Our guys wanted me to coach, and that's my job," McDermott said.

McDermott responded to news of his suspension on Thursday (March 4) via social media.

"I made a mistake and I own it," McDermott tweeted. "Mistakes come with consequences, and I accept and agree with the suspension."

McDermott joined Creighton's staff in 2010 after having previously spent a decade as head coach at Iowa State, Northern Iowa and North Dakota State.

The Bluejays, who currently rank No. 14 overall in the Associated Press Poll, fell to 17-7 overall and 13-6 in the Big East following consecutive losses to Xavier and Villanova.

Creighton assistant coach Al Huss will take over as interim head coach during McDermott's suspension.

Photo: Getty Images

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