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Volume 26 No. 209
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Rooney Rule Questioned With Just One Minority Hire This Offseason

The Redskins' Ron Rivera was the NFL's only minority head coaching hire this offseason
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
The Redskins' Ron Rivera was the NFL's only minority head coaching hire this offseason
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
The Redskins' Ron Rivera was the NFL's only minority head coaching hire this offseason
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

The Browns hiring Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski as their next head coach is a "positive" for the team, but the move also "underscores the NFL's continued struggles in hiring minority head coaches," according to Tom Withers of the AP (1/12). In Austin, Cedric Golden wrote one can call this a "league problem if you want, but it comes down to the billionaires who are signing the checks." Golden: "Like it or not, business owners are often more comfortable hiring someone who looks like them, and apparently the NFL is no different." This is a "systemic problem" for a league that is 70% black on the field and just 9% black in its head coaching ranks (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN, 1/12). In Charlotte, Alaina Getzenberg writes one factor of the lack of minority hirings is the "fact that NFL teams, like many industries around the world, hire the people they know." Getzenberg: "When you hire the people you know, it can limit opportunity for diverse candidates to show what they can do and advance in the profession. There's more to the issue, especially the biases of NFL owners, but it's certainly a starting place" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 1/13).

SUGGESTED FIXES: NBCSPORTS.com's Peter King writes he has "doubt that the 32 white owners will do the major surgery that is necessary" on the Rooney Rule in order to fix things. King recommends several changes to the rule, including increasing the "mandated minority-candidate interviews from one to two, and make owners meet each minority candidate." The Rooney Rule also should "mandate that one of the three pipeline positions on every new coaching staff be a minority," and should expand to apply to "coordinator positions." King also suggests making January a "dark period for coaching interviews and hires," as well as ramping up a "program for developing minority coaches" with funding from the league (NBCSPORTS.com, 1/13).