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Volume 24 No. 238
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Fritz Pollard Alliance Wants "Stricter Enforcement" Of Rooney Rule After Gruden Hire

In the wake the Raiders' process in hiring Jon Gruden, the Fritz Pollard Alliance will “seek stricter enforcement" of the NFL's Rooney Rule and "will ask the league to implement other reforms related to employment opportunities for minority coaches," according to Mark Maske of the WASHINGTON POST. Fritz Pollard Alliance attorney Cyrus Mehri said that the group will “not seek changes to the rule itself.” Mehri said his group will “press the NFL for more stringent enforcement.” One practical application could be “requiring teams to immediately report to the league office any interviews conducted with head coaching candidates not currently employed by NFL teams” (WASHINGTON POST, 1/21). In S.F., Matt Kawahara noted the NFL “found the Raiders had complied with the Rooney Rule” and “avoided what likely would have been a hefty fine” (S.F. CHRONICLE, 1/20). USA TODAY’s Mike Jones wrote it is “understandable why the Fritz Pollard Alliance would disagree” with the NFL's finding that the Raiders complied with the Rooney Rule (USATODAY.com, 1/20). PRO FOOTBALL TALK’s Mike Florio wrote, “How can teams essentially line up the next coach without running afoul of the Rooney Rule? Apparently, it’s the absence of formality that saved the Raiders -- and that creates the template for all other franchises moving forward.” A source said that the league “determined via its investigation that the Christmas Eve discussion” between Raiders Owner Mark Davis and Gruden did “not amount to a contract offer, given the absence of lawyers or agents and/or the discussion or negotiation of a formal offer” (PROFOOTBALLTALK.com, 1/20).