OMAHA — Creighton University has hired Marcus Blossom away from Holy Cross to be its new athletic director.
Blossom replaces Bruce Rasmussen, the Bluejays’ longtime sporting director who retired this summer.
Blossom served as athletic director of Holy Cross for two years after spending five years at Boston College as senior associate athletic director for business and administration.
“It’s hard to contain how excited I am to join such an incredible program,” Blossom said Monday. “Creighton doesn’t just compete at the highest levels in the Great East and nationally, he does it the right way, never forgetting his priorities, his values, his commitment to the community and, most importantly, the growth of student-athletes and the entirety of their experience.”
Rasmussen, 70, announced his retirement July 19, about a month after he and the school were disciplined by the NCAA for the only major rule violation in his tenure.
The NCAA discovered that a former assistant basketball coach had accepted money from a management agency. Rasmussen conducted his own investigation into the case, but kept the findings confidential until the FBI released details of a corruption scandal involving several top schools.
The NCAA put Creighton’s men’s basketball program on two-year probation, and the Bluejays received scholarships and recruiting restrictions, among other penalties.
The Bluejays had their best season under coach Greg McDermott, going 22-9 and finishing second in the Big East before moving to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1974.
Blossom, who is black, was hired five months after McDermott created a firestorm for twice using the term ‘plantation’ while urging the team to unity during a locker room chat after a failure.
Players have publicly stated that they are upset by the analogy, which evokes slavery and the pre-war South. McDermott apologized and was reinstated in time to coach in the Big East Tournament.