Creighton reinstates coach Greg McDermott before Big East tournament after 'plantation' reference

Ryan Young
·2 min read

Days after it suspended him for using a “plantation” reference with his team, No. 17 Creighton reinstated coach Greg McDermott on Monday — just in time for the Big East tournament.

McDermott missed the team’s final game of the regular season, a 20-point win over Butler, on Saturday after he used a strange and racist analogy while speaking to his team after a loss last month.

“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,” athletic director Bruce Rasmussen said in a statement, in part.

“Through his immediate apology, ownership of his actions, difficult dialogue with his team and more, Coach McDermott has demonstrated a commitment to grow. I believe his apology, his commitment to grow from this, to learn, and to regain the trust of his student-athletes and others impacted by his words.”

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McDermott used ‘plantation’ reference after loss

McDermott apologized last week after he used “a terribly inappropriate analogy” following a loss to Xavier on Feb. 27.

McDermott told his team the following in the locker room:

“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.”

Obviously, that racist phrase didn’t go over well. Creighton — though it waited another game to do so — suspended McDermott on Thursday.

“I immediately recognized my egregious mistake and quickly addressed my use of such insensitive words with the team,” he said in a statement, in part. “I have never used that analogy and it is not indicative of who I am as a person or as a coach … I sincerely apologize. I am committed to ensure that this will never happen again and am using this as a learning experience.”

McDermott, 56, took over at Creighton in 2010. The former UNI and Iowa State coach has compiled a 249-123 overall record with the Blue Jays, and won two regular-season titles and two conference tournaments while in Omaha. They are set to open the Big East tournament on Thursday against either Xavier or Butler.

Creighton head coach Greg McDermott
Greg McDermott told his team after a loss last month that he needed "everybody to stay on the plantation." (AP/Laurence Kesterson)

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