Mercer, Crater suspended indefinitely after arrest

South Florida basketball guards Mike Mercer and Anthony Crater were suspended from the team indefinitely Saturday after being arrested late Friday night and charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana.

“This kind of behavior is unacceptable within our program,” said USF coach Stan Heath in a statement Saturday, before the game against Villanova. “We are reviewing the situation and once we have more information and all the facts, we’ll have
further comment.”

Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested Mercer and Crater at the intersection of Bruce B. Downs Boulevard and Bearss Avenue at 11:56 p.m. Friday. They were questioned and taken into custody after an officer found fewer than 20 grams of marijuana according to a Hillsborough County police report.

After USF’s 70-61 loss to Villanova, Heath said Mercer’s status with the team is “in jeopardy.” Mercer was dismissed from the University of Georgia because he failed to adhere to team standards and policies. He was also arrested while at USF in September for public consumption of alcohol.

“I don’t think I necessarily said ‘One more chance,’ but he knew his back was against the wall,” Heath said. “He swore to me he wouldn’t cross the line, so when you breach that trust, that’s not a good thing. We have not spoken at all, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.”

Crater and Mercer remained in jail over the weekend, held on $500 bond each.

Heath said he will assess the situation with Athletic Director Doug Woolard on Monday.

“This happened so fast, and I need to find out everything that really happened and make a decision from there,” Heath said.

It is likely Crater, a mid-year transfer from Ohio State, will re-join the team, since Heath gave Mercer a second chance.
“Everyone needs to be looked at individually, but I will consider the resumes,” Heath said.

Mercer had already been ruled out for the remainder of the season with a knee injury. He started all four games in which
he played.

“It’s about making decisions and a commitment to the team,” Heath said. “Character, yourself, what you’re all about, those are all the things that are important to me in our program, and guys need to understand that they not only represent themselves, but their schools and their families.”