Different Approaches: Creighton’s Greg McDermott, PSU’s Pat Chambers

Creighton accepts Head Basketball Coach Greg McDermott’s apology for “deplorable language” in a post game press conference following a loss at Xavier on February 27th, if this sounds familiar to Penn State Basketball fans, it probably should.

McDermott drew scrutiny in recent days, and rightfully so, for using the word “plantation” to describe members of Creighton’s basketball team.

Unlike Penn State’s handling of former head coach Pat Chambers, Creighton quickly released the following statement moments after McDermott issued a public apology. He remains Creighton’s head coach.

You can read the statements below:

McDermott posted his apology on twitter just six minutes prior to Creighton releasing that statement.

Using the word “plantation” to describe a predominately African American group of student athletes is obviously inappropriate.  We at Victory Bell Rings are strongly against the use of any language including slavery references, directly or indirectly.  We hope this was simply a one-off poor choice of words after a tough loss and that Coach McDermott is both truly sorry and understanding of why that choice of words was and is inappropriate.

This is almost the exact reason Chambers is no longer the Head Coach of Penn State Basketball.

Last summer, it was reported that Chambers said, “I want to loosen the noose that’s around your neck” to a player on his team.  And as we stated back then, there is no excuse for using that word when talking to — or about — a young African American student athlete.

Chambers also immediately apologized and stated he was “using this mistake as a learning opportunity.”

Yet, he was let go just weeks before the season was supposed to start (technically he “resigned” but we know the truth). Like McDermott, Chambers was also loved by his players, even after this story broke:

“I’m not at peace with it (the firing).  I will not be at peace with it until everybody has answers to why.” — Myles Dread

Added Izaiah Brockington, “I was shocked and hurt by the decision … as a team we decided we want to play this season out for Coach (Chambers) and for each other.”

Jamari Wheeler took the strongest stance, defending Chambers …

“I’m still confused and don’t understand what happened.  I just want to give a shoutout to [Pat] and we love him so much…I know there’s a bucn of things about him being racist.  I’ve been here four years — a Black athlete…all the way from Florida — not one time was Coach racist or anything like that.”

The number one takeaway from this story MUST be that language from both McDermott and  Chambers is completely inappropriate. Full stop. It has no place in our world today, period. The second takeaway is the VERY different way two schools handled a relatively similar situation.

At Creighton, the release of statements from both coach and school were coordinated and that was that, time to move on.

Meanwhile, at Penn State, the apology was apparently determined not to be enough, a forced resignation followed, and the administration never explained to the team what happened.

Same situation, completely different results.

Creighton (17-6) is enjoying a season safely in the top 25 (#14) pushing for a top 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Penn State is 8-13.