The NFL has already confirmed the news.
“We believe these new policies demonstrate the NFL Owners’ commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in the NFL,” said Pittsburgh Steelers owner and chairman of the Workplace Diversity Committee, Art Rooney II. “The development of young coaches and young executives is a key to our future. These steps will assure coaching and football personnel are afforded a fair and equitable opportunity to advance throughout our football operations. We also have taken important steps to ensure that our front offices, which represent our clubs in so many different ways, come to reflect the true diversity of our fans and our country.”
“The NFL is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, which I believe is critical to our continued success,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “While we have seen positive strides in our coaching ranks over the years aided by the Rooney Rule, we recognize, after the last two seasons, that we can and must do more. The policy changes made today are bold and demonstrate the commitment of our ownership to increase diversity in leadership positions throughout the league.”
Jim Trotter of NFL Media reports that NFL owners have tabled the resolution to incentivize the hiring of minority coaches and general managers.
Trotter adds that NFL owners have voted to approve the resolution that would prevent teams from blocking assistant coaches from interviewing for coordinator positions. This rule also prevents teams from blocking personnel people from interviewing for assistant GM positions.
Last week, Trotter reported that the NFL was planning to present a pair of resolutions during the owners’ virtual meeting to improve the “Rooney Rule” and hopefully incentives the hiring of minorities as head coaches or primary football executives.
The resolution would have incentivized teams to hire minorities for coaching and executive positions by improving their draft slots.
Trotter mentioned 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 have jumped 10 spots under the same scenario for hiring an executive.
Had a team hired both a minority head coach and a minority executive in the same year, Trotter said the team could have moved up 16 spots (six for the head coach, 10 for the GM), which could have pushed a team from the third round up to the second. Beyond that, a team’s fourth-round pick would have moved up five spots in the draft preceding the coach’s or GM’s third year if he is still with the team.
A team losing a minority assistant to a coordinator job elsewhere would’ve received a fifth-round compensatory pick while a team losing a minority coach to a head-coaching or GM job, they would have received a third-round compensatory pick.
The last provision would have given a team hiring a minority candidate as their quarterbacks coach a compensatory pick at the end of the fourth round if it retained that employee beyond one season.
The reaction to this resolution was mixed, including from minority candidates who have been in the mix for notable positions in recent years.
The other resolution gets rid of the longstanding anti-tampering barrier that permits clubs to block assistant coaches from interviewing for coordinator positions with other clubs.
This 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, it would be heard by the commissioner, and his determination would be “final, binding and not subject to further review.”
Tom Pelissero of NFL Media reported Monday 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.
We’ll have more regarding the Rooney Rule as the news is available.