Creighton hires Holy Cross' Marcus Blossom as its new AD

OMAHA, Neb. -- Creighton has hired Marcus Blossom away from Holy Cross to be its new athletic director.

Blossom replaces Bruce Rasmussen, the Bluejays' longtime athletic director who retired this summer.

Blossom was Holy Cross' athletic director for two years after spending five years at Boston College as senior associate athletic director for business and administration.

"It's hard to contain just how excited I am to join such an incredible program," Blossom said Monday. "Creighton doesn't just compete at the highest levels in the Big East and nationally, it does so the right way, never forgetting its priorities, values, commitment to community, and most important, the growth of student-athletes and the entirety of their experience."

Rasmussen, 70, announced his retirement on July 19, about a month after he and the school were sanctioned by the NCAA for the only major rules violation of his tenure.

The NCAA found that a former assistant basketball coach accepted cash from a management agency. Rasmussen conducted his own investigation into the matter but kept the findings private until the FBI released details of a corruption scandal that involved several big-name schools.

The NCAA put the Creighton men's basketball program on two years' probation, and the Bluejays were docked scholarships and given 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 advancing 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 team unity during a locker room talk after a loss.

Players publicly said they were upset by the analogy, which was evocative of slavery and the antebellum South. McDermott apologized and was reinstated in time to coach in the Big East tournament.