Creighton University has opted to suspend its men's basketball coach Doug McDermott. McDermott has face scrutiny from his players, colleagues and fans after it was revealed he made racially insensitive remarks following the team's loss to Xavier University in late February.
"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," Creighton University Athletic Director Bruce Rasmussen said.
"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."
The incident that led to the suspension took place on February 27 after Bluejays fell to Xavier University by eight points. The loss ended a four-game winning streak and set the team back as the jockey for position within the NCAA Division 1 Men's Basketball Tournament field. When the team returned to the locker room, McDermott made racially insensitive and remarks to his team that is primarily made up of Black players.
“I need everybody to stay on the plantation. I can't have anybody leave the plantation," he told his team.
The remarks deeply offended players on the team as well as assistant coaches. In the aftermath of the incident, McDermott faced scrutiny from members of the college basketball community. Some speculated that he may lose his job after making these remarks, but it appears that the suspension is temporary.
"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," Rasmussen stated.
McDermott will not be on the sidelines for the team's season finale. At this time, it is unclear if he will be permitted to coach in the Big East tournament or March Madness. More details will be shared in the coming days.
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