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Wednesday, November 05, 2008
President Obama and Oregon State Recuriting

Scott Soshnick of Bloomberg has an interesting column on how Oregon State men's basketball head coach Craig Robinson might benefit by the fact that his brother-in-law is President-Elect Barack Obama. The column is excerpted below.

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You will end up at Oregon State, even though the Beavers finished 0-18 in the conference last season and even though only one OSU player -- Brent Barry -- is in the NBA.

You will go because Craig Robinson can promise something no other coach can deliver: a pipeline to the president.

You see Robinson's brother-in-law is Barack Obama.

``Being related to Barack and Michelle, I'm not complaining,'' Robinson told me the other day.

In case you're wondering about a night in the Lincoln bedroom, the answer is no. That would violate National Collegiate Athletic Association rules.

``But,'' says NCAA spokesman Wally Renfro, chuckling, ``it never hurts to drop a name.''

Perhaps you saw Robinson's speech at the Democratic National Convention. Would-be college basketball stars did. The coach made sure of it, sending a mass e-mail to recruits alerting them to his primetime speaking engagement. Robinson used a sliver of his time to boast about Oregon State basketball. "Go Beavers,'' he said in a speech that was part stump, part recruiting tool.

* * *

The Obama connection is enough to get OSU an audience with the best, which is all Robinson can hope for. "We just want the chance to be in the living room,'' he said.

Once inside, those who know Robinson best say he will impress.

Robinson, 46, is a Chicago kid. He was a two-time Ivy League Player of the Year at Princeton. He was drafted by the 76ers. He played basketball in the U.K. He has a Master of Business Administration in finance from the University of Chicago. He was a vice president at Morgan Stanley.

To read the rest of the column, click here.


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