Oregon St. mens' basketball head coach Craig Robinson has been fired. Sports Illustrated first reported the story on their SI.com site overnight that Oregon St. Athletic Director Bob De Carolis had reversed course from his post-season announcement that Robinson would return for another year, and have a chance to implement an undisclosed plan to improve the disappointing program.
Customers had already made it clear they were dissatisfied, even though the program was above .500 most of the season, and finished at a level 16-16, by turning out in the lowest numbers in the history of Gill Coliseum, which is the oldest arena in the Pac-12, including a minuscule attendance at the team's CBI Tournament first round game, resulting in a substantial financial loss.
Investors made their feelings known, and even the players got in on the vote of no confidence, when Eric Moreland, Hallice Cooke, and Challe Barton all made decisions post season to leave the program. All 3 took their time, and gathered outside information, suggesting their decisions were considered at length.
While the decision seemed obvious, the timing, on a Sunday evening, and after making a public statement in support of Robinson and his plan post season, and cutting out the area media that has covered the Robinson experience, for better and worse, from the information loop, was the latest in a series of disappointing decisions surrounding the program.
Robinson, hired in the wake of the disastrous Jay John era that devolved to an 0-18 Pac-10 season, brought Oregon St. national notoriety because Robinson is the "first brother-in-law", since his sister Michelle is married to President Obama. But more white house tours than meaningful non-conference games dotted the preseason, and went 95-104 in Robinson's 6 seasons, with no NCAA appearances, or NIT ones, for that matter, with only CBI appearances (a tournament run by an investment group Robinson was involved with) to show.
We'll have more details and analysis, and the later than it should have been search for a replacement, in the days and weeks to come.
De Carolis got around to confirming the story mid--morning, and will have a limited access press conference this afternoon at 1:30 PM to discuss the matter further. Hopefully, some insight as to the timing and what finally prompted De Carolis to change his mind will be shared.
While lots of speculation as to a replacement is floating, one rumor that is surfacing and resurfacing is that former assistant David Grace, who went to UCLA last year, may be under consideration.
Whether De Carolis is ready to discuss the replacement process yet at this afternoon's press conference is yet to be determined.