Greg McDermott Reinstated by Creighton After Suspension for 'Plantation' Remark

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMarch 8, 2021

Creighton head coach Greg McDermott during an NCAA college basketball game against Villanova, Wednesday, March 3, 2021, in Villanova, Pa. (AP Photo/Laurence Kesterson)
Laurence Kesterson/Associated Press

Creighton athletic director Bruce Rasmussen announced Monday head coach Greg McDermott would be reinstated and cleared to participate in all team activities, including this week's Big East tournament, after his racially insensitive comments in late February. 

Creighton University @Creighton

A statement from Creighton Athletic Director Bruce Rasmussen regarding the Creighton Men’s Basketball Program: https://t.co/tNBJqlxcMl

"Specifically, I said: 'Guys, we got to stick together. We need both feet in. I need everybody to stay on the plantation," McDermott told reporters several days after Creighton's 77-69 loss on Feb. 27. "I can't have anybody leave the plantation."

The school suspended McDermott March 4 after initially saying any punishment would remain confidential.

"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," Rasmussen said in a statement after McDermott was suspended.

He added: "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 said he agreed with the school's decision:

Coach McDermott @cucoachmac

I made a mistake and I own it. Mistakes come with consequences, and I accept and agree with the suspension. https://t.co/pYOT0X0nMx

Assistant Al Huss served as the interim head coach while McDermott was suspended. 

McDermott, 56, has been Creighton's men's basketball coach since the 2010-11 season, leading the Bluejays to a 249-123 record in that time and five NCAA tournament appearances (that number would have been six after Creighton went 24-7 last year, but the NCAA tournament was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic). 

This year, the Bluejays are 18-7 and sit second in the Big East standings, with another March Madness berth on the horizon.