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Creighton suspends basketball coach Greg McDermott for 'plantation' remarks

Creighton men's basketball coach Greg McDermott has been suspended for racially insensitive comments he made last week after his team lost to Xavier. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/d51675366a621fadc65e947f24ad2215/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Creighton men's basketball coach Greg McDermott has been suspended for racially insensitive comments he made last week after his team lost to Xavier. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

March 5 (UPI) -- Creighton University has suspended Greg McDermott for racially insensitive comments the men's basketball coach made during a locker room speech to players, the school said.

McDermott issued an apology on Tuesday for referencing a "plantation" in the locker room comments, which were made after the Blue Jays lost at Xavier on Saturday.

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"Specifically, I said: 'Guys, we got to stick together," McDermott tweeted. "We need both feet in. I need everybody to stay on the plantation. I can't have anybody leave the plantation.'"

McDermott said during a radio appearance Wednesday that he'd offered to resign.

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Athletic Director Bruce Rasmussen said the decision to suspend the coach was made with school President Daniel Hendrickson after the basketball team returned to Omaha, Neb., on Thursday after a game at Villanova.

"[We] 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 Thursday.

"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.

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"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."

The Blue Jays -- ranked No. 12 in the coaches poll -- next face Butler at 5 p.m. EST Saturday at CHI Health Center Omaha.

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