McDermott’s comments included a reference to his players about “staying on the plantation.” The long-time head coach apologized last Tuesday, issuing a statement of his own on Twitter and showing what seemed to be genuine regret for his actions. Even so, Creighton responded by suspending him indefinitely on Thursday, despite the fast-approaching Big East Tournament.
However, just four days after the start of his suspension, athletic director Bruce Rasmussen provided an update. McDermott will be re-instated, effective immediately and in time for the start of this week’s conference tournament.
“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. From our conversations, he understands that forgiveness must be earned, and he is willing to work for it. His actions during his career reveal an individual committed to his team and his community. As such, Coach Greg McDermott has been reinstated for all team activities, including this week’s BIG EAST Tournament,” Rasmussen wrote in an official statement released on Monday.
Here’s the full statement, shared on the Creighton University Twitter account:
A statement from Creighton Athletic Director Bruce Rasmussen regarding the Creighton Men’s Basketball Program: pic.twitter.com/tNBJqlxcMl
— Creighton University (@Creighton) March 8, 2021
Rasmussen also acknowledged that McDermott will be involved with other “leaders on campus” with the Racial Equity Institute starting next month. The program is designed to “examine how institutions produce unjust outcomes” and the Blue Jays head coach has said he is “eager to participate.”
With McDermott back on the sidelines, Creighton will roll into Madison Square Garden and the Big East Tournament as the No. 2 seed. The Blue Jays will await the winner of Xavier vs. Butler and take the court for the first time on Thursday, March 11.