Oregon State athletic director Bob De Carolis announced March 28 that Craig Robinson would return for a seventh season as men’s basketball coach, even penning a strongly worded letter of support for President Obama’s brother-in-law.
Reversing his course, 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.”
Robinson had a 94-105 record at Oregon State, including 39-69 in Pac-12 play. His contract went through the 2016-17 season and the school owes him $4.2 million.
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Robinson, 52, is the brother of first lady Michelle Obama. He was hired during President Obama’s first presidential campaign in 2008 and brought Oregon State 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.
According to OregonLive.com, names to surface in speculation about candidates to fill the Oregon State vacancy include former UCLA coach Ben Howland; New Mexico State coach Marvin Menzies; UC Irvine coach Russell Turner; and Denver Nuggets assistant Lester Conner.
• Oregon players Damyean Dotson, Dominic Artis and Brandon Austin will not be charged for an alleged sexual assault at a party in March, according to media reports.
The players were investigated by Eugene police but “given the state of the evidence, the crimes cannot be proved beyond a reasonable doubt,” said Patty Perlow, Lane County chief deputy district attorney, according to The Register-Guard newspaper.
On Monday, the Oregon athletic department issued a statement saying the three players are “not currently participating in any team activities,” The Register-Guard reported.