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Volume 25 No. 196
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NFL's Changes To Rooney Rule Should Reduce Sham Interviews

Changes could be in response to the Raiders’ process last December of hiring Jon Gruden
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

The NFL made a few "tweaks to the Rooney Rule" that conceivably "adds teeth to its policy -- and maybe reduces the possibility of sham interviews -- for requiring teams to interview at least one minority candidate for head coaching and general manager vacancies," according to Jarrett Bell of USA TODAY. Revisions include "mandating that teams interview candidates from outside their organizations, including those deemed viable by the league’s career development advisory panel, maintaining complete records pertaining to the process that must be turned over to the league upon request and a requirement that final decision-makers participate in the interviews for every candidate" (USA TODAY, 12/13). NFL Network's Judy Battista reported the changes in the rule come "undoubtedly in response to the Oakland Raiders' hiring situation with Jon Gruden last year" ("NFL Total Access," NFL Network, 12/12). NFL Exec VP & Chief HR Officer Robert Gulliver said, "We are excited about building on the very successful foundation the Rooney rule has laid out. It was really done in the spirit of continuous improvement and enhancement." He added, "If there is no compliance, there will be discipline" (Daniel Kaplan, THE DAILY).

FALLING SHORT: BLEACHER REPORT's Mike Freeman noted when Ravens GM & Exec VP Ozzie Newsome retires at the end of this season, the Dolphins' Chris Grier will be the only African-American GM "remaining in the NFL." The league office has "noticed the dwindling numbers and is concerned," and it is setting up to be a "huge topic in the coming months." The NFL has "tried to make the league more diverse." In some ways, it has "succeeded," but in this instance, it is "failing" (BLEACHERREPORT.com, 12/12). THE UNDEFEATED's Jason Reid wrote for a league with 32 teams that "continues to emphasize its supposed commitment to diversity in management, that’s an awful look." The NFL is an "overwhelmingly African-American league in which almost 70 percent of the players are black." The league’s message about it "being all-in on inclusion is seriously undercut by, well, the facts." The Raiders firing GM Reggie McKenzie this week "merely provides the latest reminder" (THEUNDEFATED.com, 12/12).