SportsProf

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Oregon State's Unique Recruiting Tool: Meet the President

Most recruits want to be on Craig's list. That is, the list of Craig Robinson, the head men's basketball coach at Oregon State University. As most know, Robinson is the brother-in-law of President Obama.

The other day the OSU team visited the White House. President Obama greeted them, posed for photos and talked with each member of the team.

Pretty neat stuff. Oregon State has a great hoops history and was in the national hoops conversation more than 25 years ago under legendary coach Ralph Miller. Now, Craig Robinson has put the Beavers back on the map. He's a pretty good basketball coach in his own right, and if you're a parent you'd want your kid to play for him. It also doesn't hurt that if your child goes to Oregon State, he might get the chance to meet the President. As powerful recruiters as Jim Calhoun, Jim Boeheim, Roy Williams, Rick Pitino and John Calipari are, none of them can promise a White House visit or a photo op with President Obama (wags might suggest that Calipari and his staff would try to promise something like that, but realistically even the Kentucky coach cannot deliver on something like that).

And here's the thing of it -- sure, the Obama connection gets Craig Robinson a lot of press, and that has to help him with recruiting. But, no fan or writer should short change Robinson -- the guy can teach and coach. He's a very good man, and players improve under him, and he'll make sure that they get their degrees. All of the other stuff is a bonus.

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