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Mike Davis was well down the road toward becoming the next men's basketball coach at Detroit Mercy, having interviewed in Detroit earlier this week. A background check was underway, and Davis' current employer, Texas Southern, announced early this week that he was leaving. It's hardly binding, of course, but even Wikipedia lists him as Detroit Mercy's head coach.

Has that all changed?

Maybe. Maybe not. But Texas Southern sure added intrigue to the situation Thursday, when it scrubbed a statement from its website in which it announced Davis' intention to depart for Detroit Mercy. The statement was given to Houston media outlets Tuesday, and posted on the school's athletics website Wednesday morning. It was still there as of Thursday morning. By mid-afternoon Thursday, it was gone.

Also, a "Thank You Coach Davis" montage that greeted visitors to the Texas Southern athletics website no longer exists, and Davis still is listed as Texas Southern's men's basketball coach.

Dr. Charles McClelland, Texas Southern's vice president of intercollegiate athletics who first told Houston media outlets about Davis' departure, didn't immediately return a message from The Detroit News seeking comment Thursday. Detroit Mercy officials have been almost entirely mum throughout the search to find Bacari Alexander's replacement. A university spokesman said Tuesday night that "there is no agreement."

More: Analysis: If Detroit Mercy hires Mike Davis, long wait was worth it

Davis' name started making the rounds in industry circles a little less than a month ago, after talks with another Detroit Mercy candidate fell through. Davis' camp is believed to have expressed initial interest to Detroit Mercy.

Davis, 57, was being widely touted by industry peers as a great hire by Detroit Mercy, after separate six-year stints at Indiana, Alabama-Birmingham and Texas Southern. He's made nine NCAA Tournaments in those 18 years, including a national runner-up finish in 2002 at Indiana, two years after he was picked to succeed the fired — yet wildly popular — Bobby Knight.

At his current gig, Texas Southern, he's taken the team to four NCAA Tournament appearances in six years, including this past year, despite starting 0-13 — all of those road games, as the budget-strapped athletic department went looking for a slew of nonconference paydays.

Davis makes less than $300,000 at Texas Southern. Detroit Mercy was believed to have paid Alexander, fired in late March after two eight-win seasons, about $450,000 a year.

For his college head-coaching career, Davis is 352–241.

tpaul@detroitnews.com

twitter.com/tonypaul1984

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