Greg McDermott, who has served as coach of the nationally ranked Creighton men's basketball team since 2010, was suspended by the university Thursday night after it was revealed that he made comments to his players following a difficult loss that many found to be racially insensitive.
The comments, which were not widely reported until McDermott tweeted about them on Tuesday, followed Creighton's Saturday loss to Big East foe Xavier. According to McDermott's tweet, "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 also discussed the remarks during a pregame radio show before Wednesday's game between Creighton and Villanova. During the program, McDermott said that he offered to resign over the remarks, although none of his team members had asked for him to resign or leave the program. Creighton would go on to lose the game against Villanova.
Creighton athletic director Bruce Rasmussen announced the suspension Thursday following a meeting with Creighton President Daniel Hendrickson and other members of Creighton's senior leadership. Rasmussen said in a statement that McDermott's remarks were "were not in alignment with Creighton's commitment to racial equity, diversity and respect."
Initially, the school had indicated that any punishment meted out to McDermott would remain confidential. Officials did not explain why McDermott's suspension was ultimately made public.
McDermott's suspension began immediately and, according to Creighton officials, will prevent him from participating in any team activities, including coaching in the team's regular-season finale on Saturday. University officials have not yet indicated how long McDermott's suspension will last.
McDermott apologized profusely for the remarks on Tuesday and on Wednesday's radio program, admitting that he used a "terribly inappropriate analogy" but stating that he hopes that the the team can move forward and get past the incident. He stated Thursday that he accepted the suspension.
McDermott was named Big East coach of the year in 2020.