Proposed Rooney Rule Change Could Award Draft Compensation To Teams Hiring An Ethnic Minority Coach

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The NFL will be making changes to the Rooney Rule during this year’s owners meeting. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero is reporting that the league will now be requiring teams to interview at least two external minority candidates for head coach openings and one minority candidate for any coordinator job. Teams will also be required to interview at least one minority candidate for senior football operations vacancies, which would include GM jobs. These changes are reportedly set to take effect after the league’s online owner’s concludes later today.

The “Rooney Rule” is named after former Steelers owner Dan Rooney and has been in place since 2003. Prior to these changes, teams were required to interview just one non-white candidate for head coaching vacancies.

Other amendments are up for debate and will be voted on by NFL team’s later today. Under a proposal put forward by the league, teams could potentially improve their draft position by hiring a minority head coach. The proposed Rooney Rule amendment could see teams move up ten spots in the third round for hiring a non-white GM or equivalent position while moving up six spots for hiring a non-white head coach.

According to a report from NFL.com’s Jim Trotter, the proposal would include the following:

  • Moving up 10 third round slots for hiring a GM or senior executive of color
  • Moving up 6 third round slots for hiring a head coach of color
  • Teams could move up as many as 16 slots if they opt to fill both a GM and coach vacancy with a minority candidate
  • The potential for teams to move up five slots in the draft preceding the GM or coach’s third season. This is to incentive the retention of these hires.

Former Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy opposes draft pick incentives attached to any Rooney Rule proposal. Dungy spoke with Pro Football Talk and shared thoughts he had gathered from “minority” coaches he had spoken with. “There’s three things that they’re worried about” Dungy said. “Number one, how does this put me in my relationship with the other coaches that I work with, and other white coaches? Are they thinking I’m getting an advantage now? Number two, when that General Manager or owner hires me, is he hiring me because he thinks I’m the best person, or is he hiring me to move his draft choice up a little bit? And then the third thing this is nobody feels like they want anything special . . . . Don’t hire me and then say I’m going to give you more draft choices later on because you need help. And I know that’s not the reason why the proposal is being put in, I know that’s not what they’re driving at, but that’s still the end result. And so there’s still some things the league needs to think about, about this proposal.” he continued.

Tiki Barber also opposes the proposed Rooney Rule amendments while Dez Bryant voiced his displeasure in a tweet.

The proposal would need the support of 24 of 32 NFL teams to pass.

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