Creighton men’s basketball coach Greg McDermott has been suspended from all team activities for racially insensitive comments he made to his players last week, the school announced Thursday night.
The decision came two days after the school said any disciplinary action would remain 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. “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 for referencing a “plantation” to his players following a 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.
McDermott said on Creighton’s pregame radio show Wednesday — before he coached the Bluejays against Villanova — that he offered to resign over his comments. He said the players did not ask for him to resign.
“Our guys wanted me to coach, and that’s my job,” McDermott said.
After Creighton announced the suspension Thursday, McDermott took to social media and said he believed the school’s decision was the right one.
“I made a mistake and I own it,” he tweeted. “Mistakes come with consequences, and I accept and agree with the suspension.”
McDermott has been the head coach of Creighton since 2010. Before taking over the Bluejays, he spent a decade as head coach at Iowa State, Northern Iowa and North Dakota State.
Creighton, No. 14 in this week’s AP poll, dropped to 17-7 overall and 13-6 in the Big East after its back-to-back losses to Xavier and Villanova. Assistant Al Huss will serve as interim head coach in McDermott’s absence.