Creighton men’s basketball coach Greg McDermott, who previously apologized for urging his players to “stay on the plantation” in a postgame locker room talk following a loss over the weekend, said on Wednesday that he offered to resign over his comments.
McDermott said on Creighton’s pregame radio show before a 72-60 loss to No. 10 Villanova that he had a long meeting with the players on Sunday night and said he saw “pain in their face(s)” and hoped “one mistake doesn’t define you.”
McDermott said he wanted to make sure the Bluejays wanted him to remain as coach and apologized for the “distraction that I brought to this team for the choice that I made.”
McDermott said the Bluejays — whose players wear “equality” on the back of their jerseys — did not ask for him to resign.
“Our guys wanted me to coach and that’s my job,” McDermott said.
McDermott has been Creighton’s coach since 2010. McDermott, who is white, acknowledged saying after a loss to Xavier on Saturday: “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.”
The coach added that he apologized directly to Creighton’s president, the Rev. Daniel Hendrickson, and athletic director Bruce Rasmussen.
Creighton assistant coach Terrence Rencher, who is Black, tweeted that he was “deeply hurt” by McDermott’s words.
The school said any disciplinary action would remain confidential.
McDermott was on the sideline and received a fist bump from seemingly all but one player as they ran off the court from pregame warm-ups.
McDermott’s racially insensitive remarks overshadowed what was expected to be a fantastic showdown between the top two teams in the Big East. The Wildcats instead raced to a 19-point lead and clinched their seventh regular-season title under coach Jay Wright in the past eight seasons.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.