Detroit Mercy men's basketball improves APR, restores postseason eligibility

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

The Detroit Mercy men's basketball program will be eligible for the 2020-21 postseason, after making significant strides in the classroom.

The NCAA released Academic Progress Report data Tuesday afternoon.

Detroit Mercy's men's basketball team posted a score of 950 for 2018-19, to improve its four-year score to 909 — still slightly below the minimum qualifications, but substantially improved over the last year. That earned the program a waiver from the NCAA to again compete in the postseason.

Mike Davis

The Detroit Mercy basketball team's previous APR, for 2017-18, was 826.

"I believe with the systems we now have in place, the support is there," said Holly Kerstner, Detroit Meryc's associate athletic director for student-athlete services.

Kerstner worked with Steve Corder, assistant athletic director for NCAA compliance, as well as Detroit Mercy faculty to develop and implement an academic plan for men's basketball.

The four-year APR score that led to Detroit Mercy's postseason ban for 2020 fell entirely under prior coaching staffs.

That's why Mike Davis, in his second year as Detroit Mercy's head coach, felt so strongly that the Titans didn't deserve the ban in 2020. The plea, however, fell on deaf ears with the NCAA — though, in an odd back and forth in the media, the NCAA insisted Detroit Mercy never appealed the initial ruling, while Detroit Mercy said in a press release that it's appeal was denied.

Detroit Mercy was 8-23 including 6-12 in the Horizon League this past season, but because of the postseason ban, it wasn't eligible for the league tournament.

It also wasn't eligible for the NCAA Tournament, which was a long shot for Detroit Mercy any way — and the NCAA Tournament was eventually canceled because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Men's basketball teams receiving postseason bans for next season include Alabama A&M, Alabama State,  Delaware State and Stephen F. Austin.

Twitter: @tonypaul1984