Craig Robinson remains committed to completing his much-discussed "plan." He still hopes to guide the Beavers to their first NCAA Tournament berth since the Gary Payton glory days. He still aims to finish his Oregon State contract, which at the start of the season stood to earn him $5.2 million through 2017.

Come season's end, though, a career change could represent Robinson's most intriguing opportunity. If the defeats mount, dwindling attendance and public dissension could force a budget-strapped athletic department to consider buying out his sizable deal.

Robinson, who owns a 34.7 Pac-12 winning percentage and no significant postseason appearances in five-plus seasons in Corvallis, would not figure to have many Division I head-coaching offers waiting. If he's "out of a job," Robinson said in an interview with The Oregonian this week, he'd "have to consider" a potential offer to become Princeton's next athletic director. The university plans to replace the retiring Gary Walters this spring, according to its official website.

"I think if they were interested in me, that would be the one place," Robinson said this week, after leading OSU (10-7, 2-3 Pac-12) to a Civil War win at Gill Coliseum. "I haven't been coaching long enough to be burned out. That job is much harder and much more away from the student-athletes than what I'm doing. It's so different."

Robinson, a Tigers great who has become the subject of much "hot seat" chatter this season, said he has offered search committee members a list of possible candidates for the opening. Though he said no Princeton officials have inquired about his interest, Robinson noted that his alma mater is the lone institution capable of prying him away from the sideline. That is, outside of an early termination by OSU.

Princeton officials could not be reached for comment.

Robinson's unique résumé could make him a compelling option for a Princeton athletic department historically led by alums. At least three of the Tigers' past four athletic directors, including Walters, were at one time Princeton student-athletes.

Robinson is somewhat of a Tigers icon, a two-time Ivy League Player of the Year who ranks sixth on Princeton's all-time scoring list. He is a business-savvy former investment banker, a skilled fundraiser who played a critical role in the construction of the Beavers' new, $15 million basketball facility. He boasts the name recognition that comes with being the Commander in Chief's brother-in-law.

Further, Robinson maintains close ties to the Tigers. He donates money annually. He speaks often with men's basketball coach Mitch Henderson, a search committee member and longtime colleague on Bill Carmody's Northwestern staff.

There's even a familial connection: Robinson's daughter, Corvallis High School senior Leslie Robinson, is committed to join Princeton's women's basketball program next school year.

"I can see why people would think of me," Robinson said.