Creighton basketball coach Greg McDermott suspended for urging players to ‘stay on the plantation’


Creighton University suspended basketball coach Greg McDermott indefinitely Thursday night for using racially insensitive language when addressing the team after a game last weekend.

McDermott publicly apologized Tuesday and again Wednesday for urging his players to “stay on the plantation” after the Bluejays’ 77-69 loss to 14th in Xavier.

McDermott coached in the Bluejays’ 72-60 loss at No. 10 Villanova on Wednesday night. Assistant coach Alan Huss will serve as interim head coach for the home game against Butler on Saturday.

“I made a mistake and I acknowledge it,” McDermott said in a Twitter post after the suspension was announced. “Mistakes come with consequences, and I accept and agree to the suspension.”

Athletic director Bruce Rasmussen said he and the university president, the Rev. Daniel Hendrickson, met with senior administrators Thursday to determine disciplinary action against McDermott.

“Coach McDermott and the team have agreed that, effective immediately, he is suspended for all team activities, including Saturday’s home season finale against Butler.”

The university’s statement announcing the suspension did not specify how long McDermott would be suspended. Creighton athletic spokesman Rob Anderson told The Associated Press that no end date has been set.

Rasmussen said additional sanctions are being considered, none of which will be made public.

“Coach McDermott and our athletic program should use this incident as an opportunity for growth and learning, as more work clearly needs to be done.”

McDermott, in an apology he posted on Twitter Tuesday, acknowledged saying, “Guys, we have to stick together. We need both feet in. I need everyone to stay on the plantation. I cannot allow anyone to leave the plantation. “

McDermott, who is white, said he immediately acknowledged that he had made an “egregious mistake” and addressed with his team the use of a term that evokes slavery and the pre-war South.

In a statement, the university called McDermott’s language “deplorable” and said it was inconsistent with the values ​​and commitment of the private Jesuit school to create a welcoming environment.

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