Oregon State Part Ways With Craig Robinson

Craig Robinson

The Oregon State Beavers have made the decision to part ways with men’s basketball head coach, Craig Robinson. Robinson is the brother of First Lady Michelle Obama. Robinson had three years left on his nine-year contract. After the Beavers failed to reach either the National Invitational Tournament or the NCAA Tournament while Robinson was in charge.

The decision by Oregon State to release the President of the United States’ brother-in-law was apparently not a surprise. With a record of 93-104 record over six years and not reaching either of the major post-season tournaments, there had been discussions going around that Robinson would buy out the last three seasons of his contract.

The future for Robinson was not looking positive. Three of the Beavers top scorers, Devon Collier, Roberto Nelson and Angus Brandt were graduated after the past season. Eric Moreland declared early for the NBA draft and point guard Challe Barton made the decision to play basketball in Europe and not return to Corvallis, Oregon. Barton is originally from Sweden.

Craig Robinson
Oregon State Beavers head coach Craig Robinson congratulates Colorado Buffaloes head coach Tad Boyle after the Buffaloes defeated the Beavers 64-58 in Boulder, Colorado this past season.

While Craig Robinson and Oregon State part ways, the head coach will walk with a nice buyout package. The Beavers will pay their former coach the balance of his contract which equals $4 million. That is ten times more than Robinson’s brother-in-law will make this year as President of the United States.

Robinson came to the Beavers after he coached two seasons at Brown University. In those two years as head coach, Robinson led the Bears to a 30-28 record. Robinson found out very quickly that coaching in the PAC-10, now the PAC-12, is not easy. The season before Robinson came to Oregon State the Beavers had a dismal 6-25 record.

The draw to top PAC-12 basketball schools like Oregon, Colorado, Stanford, and historic champions UCLA made it difficult for Robinson to recruit the talent he needed to move the Beavers into an NCAA tournament level team. The Beavers have not been to the NCAA Tournament since 1990. That team was led by Sports Illustrated’s College Player of the Year, Gary Payton.

The news of Robinson’s firing came after the announcement that the Beavers had scored in bringing shooting guard Nick Faust to Corvallis. Faust is transferring from the University of Maryland. The guard will have to sit out one season to comply with NCAA regulations for transfers. When he takes the court for the 2015-2016 season, he will not be playing for the coach that recruited him so heavily and was the primary reason behind the decision by Faust to transfer

The decision by Oregon State to part ways with Craig Robinson comes just over a month after an end of season meeting between the head coach and the Beavers athletic director, Bob De Carolis. The Beavers and the city of Corvallis hope that all parties are happy with the decision to move a different direction with the men’s basketball program. Upsetting the brother-in-law of the most powerful man in the world may not result in drones flying around the skies over the campus of Oregon State. However, eyes may be turned towards the sky for a while, just in case.

Commentary by Carl Auer
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