Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Obama's brother-in-law has a big rebuilding job too

With a hint of 5 o'clock shadow and small bags under his eyes, Oregon State coach Craig Robinson took the basketball court to start a campaign that is nearly as daunting as the one he just helped to complete.

Now that the campaign is over Robinson is able to concentrate on coaching.For the past 20 months, Robinson assisted his brother-in-law Barack Obama's campaign for the presidency. Robinson stumped in Iowa, gave speeches in Washington State and did interviews about his childhood on Chicago's South Side with his younger sister, Michelle, who is married to Obama.

Now that the Obamas are preparing to enter the White House and Robinson can devote all his energy to his first season at Oregon State, Robinson and the president-elect can debate about whose task is tougher.

"Before this whole economy thing, I would have said that we had a bigger rebuilding job," Robinson said of Oregon State. "But this economy thing puts him over the top, hands down. He's got the economy, and you can throw in the housing crisis and the war. He's got more on his plate than I do."

Robinson simply inherited an Oregon State program that is coming off an 0-18 season in the Pacific-10, carrying a 21-game skid and looking for its first NCAA tournament appearance since 1990.

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