Creighton has suspended men's basketball coach Greg McDermott over racially insensitive remarks he made last weekend.
"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," Creighton director of athletics Bruce Rasmussen said in a statement. "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. 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."
Greg McDermott was in his 20th season as a Division 1 men's basketball coach. (Photo: Katie Stratman, USA TODAY Sports)
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McDermott responded on Twitter to the suspension: "I made a mistake and I own it. Mistakes come with consequences, and I accept and agree with the suspension."
I made a mistake and I own it. Mistakes come with consequences, and I accept and agree with the suspension. https://t.co/pYOT0X0nMx
On Tuesday, McDermott apologized for making "a terribly inappropriate analogy."
"Specifically, I said: 'Guys, we got to stick together,'" McDermott tweeted. "'We need both feet in. I need everybody to stay on the plantation. I can't have anybody leave the plantation.'"
The word "plantation" carries racist overtones for its connotations of slavery and repression.
McDermott coached in Creighton's 72-60 loss to No. 9-ranked Villanova on Wednesday night. The loss dropped the Bluejays to 17-7 on the season.
“The pain I saw in their eyes was immense,” McDermott said after the game. “That’s a cross that I’m going to have to bear for a while. I’m going to come out of this on the other end a better person because of it. But it’s going to be a process.”
McDermott also said on Creighton’s pregame radio show that he offered to resign.
McDermott had been in his 11th season as coach at Creighton. He led the Bluejays to the NCAA Tournament five times, and his team was the Big East regular-season champion last season.
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