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Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Craig Robinson to stay at Oregon State

By Eamonn Brennan

For much of the season, there have been minor rumblings -- with an emphasis on minor -- that Oregon State coach Craig Robinson was looking to leave the Beavers this offseason.

We can officially put that to rest: According to a release from the Oregon State athletics department, Robinson and OSU have agreed in principle to a two-year contract extension that will keep the coach in Corvallis, Ore. through the 2015-2016 season. Terms of the contract will be released in the "near future," according to the release.

“I’d like to thank President Ed Ray and Bob De Carolis for their commitment to me, our program and Oregon State,” Robinson said in a statement. “This extension represents a mutual commitment to the future of Oregon State men’s basketball. We will continue to recruit the best student-athletes, invest in our facilities and build a successful team on and off the court. We have ambitious goals and look forward to returning the Oregon State basketball program to prominence.”

One repercussion here: Any DePaul fans hoping Robinson would return to Chicago to take over a flagging DePaul program can officially shelve the idea. Robinson-to-DePaul was never realistic. The coach's primary concern at Oregon State has been securing a commitment to improving the basketball program's facilities. The Blue Demons' issues with facilities -- not least of which involves the aging Allstate Arena, located a 45-minute drive from the school's Lincoln Park campus -- are even more dire than the Beavers'. Fair or not, it's not hard to see why coaches view DePaul as a coaching dead-end.

Another: Oregon State gets to keep a coach that has proven his worth in his first two years at the school. In 2008-09, Robinson inherited a team that went 0-18 in the Pac-10 the year prior; Robinson quickly turned that around, going 18-18 in his first year. The Beavers have been inconsistent in 2009-10, but there's no denying that the program is in better shape now than when Robinson arrived.

Whether Robinson's teams can take another step forward will have much to do with the aforementioned facilities concerns. But no one would dispute that Oregon State is committed to its coach -- and its coach to Oregon State.