I suppose we could all take at face value what Bob De Carolis had to tell Beaver Nation about Craig Robinson in his Friday statement.

Or we could shrug our shoulders and say the Oregon State athletic director decided he simply couldn't afford to fire his basketball coach, who has three years remaining on his contract at nearly $4 million.

Well, sorry. Can't let it pass without comment.

De Carolis' statement:

"Many of you have recently sent your thoughts to me about the OSU men's basketball program. No one is more disappointed in our inability to reach our goals than head coach Craig Robinson and myself.

"Coach Robinson and I have met multiple times in the past two weeks, and he has presented me with a plan that will move the program forward to achieve the goals that this university supports. Our goals in every sport are to win a conference title; to play in NCAA postseason events; to compete with character and integrity; and to help guide our student-athletes to graduate and succeed in life.

"I'm looking forward to watching Coach Robinson continue to build our program. He is a man of great character and someone who represents Oregon State University with integrity. I ask for your continued support of Beaver basketball."

Here are some questions for De Carolis:

• What plan is Robinson presenting? Hasn't a plan been in place from the start of Robinson's six-year tenure? How does he plan to replace Roberto Nelson, Devon Collier, Angus Brandt and perhaps Eric Moreland next season?

• It may be that Robinson has met two of De Carolis' stated four goals: To compete with character and integrity, and to help his players graduate and get on the right life path. Is there any question that the coach has failed miserably at achieving the other two goals? And that those two goals are the ones that ultimately determine the success of a program?

• Isn't it misguided to ask for "continued support of Beaver basketball" when there is none? The fans spoke loudly by leaving Gill Coliseum virtually empty for the first-round CBI loss to Radford. The support won't return until the program shows improvement.

At the end of De Carolis' statement, he listed several "facts" about Robinson's career at OSU. To wit, with my rejoinders:

• He is the fourth-winningest coach in Oregon State history with 94 victories and trails only Hall of Famers Slats Gill, Ralph Miller and Bob Hager. Only Gill and Miller have served longer than Robinson's six years. Robinson has the third-most losses in OSU history (105), and his overall win percentage (47.2) is far below that of Hager (68.5) and Paul Valenti (52.6) and only marginally better than Jimmy Anderson (46.7). Robinson's conference record, incidentally, is 39-69, a 36.1 win percentage. (What Hall of Fame is Hager in, anyway?)

• Oregon State has been .500 or better four times since 1991 and he has coached his teams to three of those seasons. This is something to brag about?

• Oregon State has won eight conference games three times since 1993, of which he has had two of those seasons. As Derrick Coleman once said about teammate Kenny Anderson missing practice and being spotted at "Scores" strip club: "Whoop-de-damn-do."

• Oregon State has four wins against top-50 and six against top-100 programs this season, including wins over two teams that advanced to the Sweet 16. Why, then, were the Beavers unable to make it to even the NIT?

• Five Oregon State players have received All-Pac-12 recognition. None of them first team, not even Nelson, who led the conference in scoring. Why did the league's coaches not vote for him?

And finally …

• He will be the head coach of a Pac-12 All-Star team that will compete in China in August. Can that team play for the Beavers next season?

Robinson has hit his high-water mark at Oregon State, with freshman guards Hallice Cooke and Malcolm Duvivier and precious little else returning. Next season portends to be a disaster, unless the incoming recruiting class -- shooting guards Chai Baker of Malone, Fla., and Gary Payton Jr. from Salt Lake City JC, and 6-10 center Isaiah Manderson of Oldsmar, Fla. -- provide a shocking infusion of new talent.

On paper, it looks like the worst Beaver team in history. Robinson doesn't believe that, evidently. On his coach's radio show last week, he offered that Moreland's return is "about 50-50 right now." If Moreland were to come back, Robinson offered, "we'll be viewed as one of the top teams in the conference, and maybe in the top 25" in the country.

Uh, no. But it's not the first delusional statement Robinson has made about his teams, or some of his players, over his six years on the job.

De Carolis was wrong if he decided the stumbling block was the high price to fire Robinson. All things considered, the OSU athletic director couldn't afford not to. Now the task -- and the chance to hire a new coach that could begin a rebuilding job -- is simply put off for another year. And the program burrows a little lower, with attendance figures destined for record lows.

Nobody can blame Robinson for not resigning or negotiating a buyout. Why should he turn his back on $4 million? Had he exited gracefully, however -- perhaps to the Princeton athletic director job -- he could have claimed he left the OSU program in better position that when he took it over.

A year from now, that's unlikely to be the case.

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Twitter: @kerryeggers

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