Creighton has reinstated coach Greg McDermott following a four-day suspension for racially insensitive language he used in front of his team following the Feb. 27 loss to Xavier. In a statement, athletic director Bruce Rasmussen called McDermott’s use of a “plantation” analogy “egregious” with “absolutely no place in our society.” However, in consultation with the team and other members of the Creighton community, Rasmussen announced that he would be reinstating McDermott in time for the Big East Tournament starting on Wednesday. The No. 2-seed BlueJays’ first game will be on Thursday in a quarterfinal between the winner of Xavier and Butler.
“Over the past week, either Father Hendrickson or I have consulted with Creighton’s men’s basketball student-athletes, their coaches and parents, former student-athletes, and, of course, members of the University community regarding Coach McDermott’s offensive remarks on February 27,” the statement says. “I also witnessed the courage of our student-athletes when they used their voices to share their true feelings about last week’s remarks. Let me be clear: Coach McDermott’s use of the ‘plantation’ analogy was egregious and has absolutely no place in our society. His remarks have caused significant hurt to many on our campus and in our community.”
McDermott immediately issued an apology and later posted on Twitter saying he owned his mistake, going so far as saying he would have resigned if his players wanted. Creighton suspended McDermott on March 4.
“Through his immediate apology, ownership of his actions, difficult dialogue with his team, Coach McDermott has demonstrated a commitment to grow,” Rasmussen continued. “I believe his apology, commitment to grow from this, to learn and to regain the trust of his student-athletes and others impacted by his words.”
As a result of his words, McDermott will participate in a program in April with other campus leaders in the Racial Equity Institute, which develops participants’ understanding of institutional racism.
The full statement can be read below:
McDermott has been Creighton’s coach since 2010. He has taken the team to five NCAA Tournaments and is on pace to make it a sixth this season.