Rooney Rule Revisited

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  • The NFL has altered the Rooney Rule in hopes of increasing diverse hires by teams.

The NFL has implemented several Rooney Rule changes in an effort to help diversify coaching and front office hires. The previous Rooney Rule required one external minority applicant be interviewed for a head coach opening.

Rule Changes

  • Teams will be required to interview two minority candidates outside their organization for vacant head coach jobs and one for offensive, defensive and special teams coordinator positions.
  • Teams will be prohibited from denying interviews with other teams.
  • Must include at least one external minority applicant for senior football operations and general manager openings.
  • Position pool expanded to include minority and female applicants for executive roles including president and senior executives.
  • All 32 teams are to establish minority coaching fellowship programs.

The Rooney Rule and its proposed changes have been met with plenty of criticism. A proposal to incentivize diverse hiring with improved draft picks for minority hires was postponed for a later date during an NFL team owner conference call Tuesday.

There are currently four minority head coaches in the league: Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, Redskins head coach Ron Rivera, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, and Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn. Three of the past 20 head coach openings have been minority hires.