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NFL Finds Raiders Complied With Rooney Rule in Jon Gruden Hiring

22 January, 2018, 02:36 | Author: John Swanson
  • Jon Gruden, Oakland Raiders head coach holds an Oakland Raiders jersey with his name as he stands between Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis and Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie Mc Kenzie, after being introduced as the new hea

The NFL has determined that the Oakland Raiders complied with the Rooney Rule, in its view, during the process that led to the hiring of Jon Gruden as the team's coach.

This requires teams to interview minority candidates for the position to give an equal opportunity at possibly landing the position.

Those interviews, according to Davis, occurred before Gruden signed his contract with Oakland, which should satisfy the rule.

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The Rooney Rule's goal is to promote diversity in the coaching ranks by making sure that minority candidates get opportunities to interview for head coaching jobs.

The NFL bought that explanation, but the Fritz Pollard Alliance says those interviews were meaningless.

The league said it was satisfied that the Raiders and owner Mark Davis interviewed minority candidates for the position before reaching an agreement with Gruden.

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"The NFL broke ground when it created the Rooney Rule, but it made the wrong call in refusing to penalize Mark Davis in this instance", the statement continued.

But following the Gruden presser, Davis said he had been pursuing Gruden ever since taking over the team in the wake of his father Al Davis' death in 2011 and imagined Gruden, the Raiders coach from 1998 through 2001 before being traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and McKenzie running the football side of the franchise for him.

The league said a review found the Raiders conducted "bona fide" interviews with minority candidates during their search for a replacement for Jack Del Rio, who was sacked after a disappointing six-win season.

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Such a change would allow the league to better monitor the hiring process and determine in real time whether there has been compliance with the Rooney Rule, Mehri said. "We have called for meetings with the League to ensure that a process like this never happens again". Former Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin, however, was apparently eager to get back to coaching for the 2018 season. Gruden has prior history with Oakland, serving as the head coach for four seasons and compiling a 38-26 record over the span. Before its implementation there were only seven total minority head coaches in the National Football League, and the year before it was implemented there were only two current minority head coaches in the NFL. Then-Detroit Lions general manager Matt Millen was fined $200,000 for circumventing the rule when he hired Steve Mariucci as the team's head coach in 2003. Tee Martin, the offensive coordinator for the University of Southern California, was also interviewed for the position after Davis had already admitted he was gunning for Gruden.

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