NFL Expands Rooney Rule To Require More Interviews Of Minority Candidates


Tom Pelissero of NFL Media reports that the NFL is immediately instituting changes to the Rooney Rule that will require teams to interview at least two external minority candidates for head coach openings and one minority candidate for a coordinator job.

According to Pelissero, NFL teams must interview one external minority candidate for senior football operations and GM jobs. Beyond that, Pelissero says clubs and the league office must now include minorities and/or female applicants for senior-level positions, which including club president.

All of these changes will take effect after the virtual league meeting scheduled for tomorrow.

Last week, Jim Trotter of NFL Media reported that the NFL is planning to present a pair of resolutions this Tuesday during the owners’ virtual meeting to improve the “Rooney Rule” and hopefully incentives the hiring of minorities as head coaches or primary football executives.

According to Trotter, the first resolution would get rid of the longstanding anti-tampering barrier that permits clubs to block assistant coaches from interviewing for coordinator positions with other clubs.

The second would be to incentivize teams to hire minorities for coaching and executive positions by improving their draft slots.

Trotter writes that the draft slot resolution would move a team that hires a minority head coach up six sports from where they were slotted to pick in the third round preceding their second season.

A team would jump 10 spots under the same scenario for hiring an executive.

Should a team hire both a minority head coach and a minority executive in the same year, Trotter says the team could them move up 16 spots (six for the head coach, 10 for the GM), which could push a team from the third round up to the second. Beyond that Trotter explains that a team’s fourth-round pick would move up five spots in the draft preceding the coach’s or GM’s third year if he is still with the team.

The NFL has been weighing options for a few years now to find ways to fix the Rooney Rule that was implemented back in 2003.

Trotter notes that 70 percent of head coach hires over the past three years have come from two positions: quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator.

According to Trotter, the belief in the NFL is that the numbers can be reversed by removing some of the barriers that have impacted minorities to interview for coordinator jobs elsewhere.

The new proposal would prohibit teams from the end of the regular season to March 1 from denying an assistant coach the opportunity to interview with a new team for a “bona fide” coordinator position on offense, defense or special teams. If there were to be a dispute about the legitimacy of the position, Trotter reports that it would be heard by the commissioner, and his determination would be “final, binding and not subject to further review.”

Should a team lose a minority assistant to a coordinator job elsewhere, they would receive a fifth-round compensatory pick. In the event a team loses a minority coach to a head-coaching or GM job, they would receive a third-round compensatory pick.

The last provision would give a team hires a minority candidate as their quarterbacks coach a compensatory pick at the end of the fourth round if it retains that employee beyond one season.

We’ll have more regarding the Rooney Rule as the news is available.


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4 months ago

This is unfair to white coaches!