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Craig Robinson, Michelle Obama's brother, out at Oregon State

Craig Robinson Out At Oregon State


Oregon State athletic director Bob De Carolis announced on March 28 that head coach Craig Robinson would return for a seventh season as basketball coach, even penning a strongly worded letter of support for President Barack Obama's brother-in-law.

The more De Carolis thought about it, the more he realized it was a mistake.

Reversing his course from five weeks earlier, De Carolis fired Robinson on Monday, ending the tenure of a coach who brought prestige to the university but who failed to get the Beavers to the NCAA tournament during six seasons in Corvallis.

"During a phone call with him on Thursday, I acknowledged to him that I had changed my mind," De Carolis said. "Despite my sincere want for Craig to be successful at Oregon State, as the days moved on since March, it became clear to me that wanting it to work with Craig as our coach was not good enough. Oregon State University, our student-athletes and our loyal supporters deserve more than a simple desire. They deserve success."

The brother of First Lady Michelle Obama, Robinson was hired during President Obama's first presidential campaign in 2008 and gave the university some added attention that summer, when he introduced his sister at the Democratic National Convention. Robinson also played basketball with the president on Election Day in 2012 and was with him during his private oath of office for the start of his second term.

The results on the basketball court didn't match what he was able to accomplish from a public-relations standpoint.

Robinson had a solid start in Corvallis, taking a program that went 0-18 in the Pac-12 the year before to an 18-win season in 2008-09.

After that, the Beavers' results under Robinson were uneven, with Oregon State finishing no better than fifth in the Pac-12 in his six seasons, including 10th this year.

Oregon State won 21 games in 2011-12, but went 7-11 in conference to miss the NCAA tournament.

After going 14-18 in 2012-13, the Beavers were 16-16 this season, including 8-10 in the Pac-12, and lost to Radford at home in the lower-tier College Basketball Invitational.

Robinson went 94-105 overall - 39-69 in conference - with Oregon State after spending two seasons as Brown's head coach. The Beavers have not reached the NCAA tournament since 1990.

Oregon State will pay $4.2 million to Robinson over the course of a contract that runs through 2016.

"When Craig got here, it was not every good," De Carolis said. "Yes, he got us to a different spot, which was good, but we just feel that to get to the next spot, we need a fresh start."

Oregon State will be in a rebuilding phase next season.

The Beavers will add Maryland transfer Nick Faust, but will have no returning starters in 2014-15 after Eric Moreland declared early for the NBA draft, Hallice Cooke decided to transfer and Challe Barton left to play professionally overseas. Leading scorer Roberto Nelson, Devon Collier and Angus Brandt were seniors last season and won't be back, either.

De Carolis said he hopes to move quickly in finding a replacement since Robinson's firing came well after the season ended.

"We want to move quickly, but we want to make the right choice," he said. "So fast but deliberate."

Robinson played at Princeton, where he was a two-time Ivy League player of the year as a 6-foot-6 forward. He started his career in the business world before serving as an assistant at Northwestern under Bill Carmody, an assistant coach at Princeton during Robinson's senior season.


Join the discussion

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Larry May 06 2014 at 11:25 AM

Does he have a lard butt, too?

Flag Reply +5 rate up
Larry May 06 2014 at 10:49 AM

Unlike his bro-in-law, he is having to be accountable for his performance.

Flag Reply +6 rate up
outdoors May 06 2014 at 10:48 AM

That's Michelle without her wig,

Flag Reply +7 rate up
1 reply
Shirley outdoors May 06 2014 at 11:04 AM

Right you are. Now we know where FLOTUS got her looks ... from her brother!

Flag Reply +2 rate up
tlrhvc May 06 2014 at 10:34 AM

ha ha

Flag Reply +2 rate up
duey35 May 06 2014 at 10:19 AM

He will bring a racist lawsuit against them, somehow, and Sis will back him.

Flag Reply +9 rate up
1 reply
paulsca138 duey35 May 06 2014 at 10:44 AM

thats so silly. He was fired just like coaches do all the time.And the Prez and first lady wont have anything to do with it.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
1 reply
u8nt4me paulsca138 May 06 2014 at 10:48 AM

At least someone had the balls even though his brother in law is a loser.

Flag +4 rate up
Wise-1 May 06 2014 at 10:13 AM

Whoop ding. Like being flotus" brother should matter. They all need to go back to Kenya

Flag Reply +3 rate up
lov2elkhnt May 06 2014 at 10:09 AM

He's already been on this job twice as long as anyone else with the same type of record and performance. Fear of fed retribution may have kept him at the helm till now when his Brother in law's poll numbers were not just in the toilet but out in the street sewer pipes. Bye Craig, you and your picks just couldn't get it done in 6 years. If not for your connection to Barak you'd have been gone in 3.

Flag Reply +7 rate up
emam545 May 06 2014 at 10:07 AM

Well he can go on unemployment and collect taxpayer money for many months to come And he can get Obama care for free, thanks to his brother in law. Nice job creation Obama, well maybe only for your cronies and relatives.

Flag Reply +8 rate up
2 replies
terry emam545 May 06 2014 at 11:27 AM

With a $4.5 million payout from Oregon, he will not be able to collect unemployment. Rest easy, your tax dollars are safe. I suspect he will rebound just fine.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
lov2elkhnt emam545 May 06 2014 at 12:45 PM

Craig won't do unemployment, it's in his DNA and sociological history to go on welfare to support the family cause.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
tnana23boys May 06 2014 at 10:07 AM

The comments on this site are unbelievable. Grow up and take a look in the mirror. You've become the problem.

Flag Reply +6 rate up
2 replies
Wise-1 tnana23boys May 06 2014 at 10:11 AM

AND the reason why you care IS???????????????? Mind your own business

Flag Reply +2 rate up
steel4cal tnana23boys May 06 2014 at 10:38 AM

How can I be the problem? The coach led them to a lousy record.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
minus99 May 06 2014 at 10:04 AM

Wish we could fire her as well.

Flag Reply +6 rate up
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