Though some (i.e., us) continue to be troubled by the appearance that Vinny Cerrato was abruptly swapped out for Bruce Allen as part of a premeditated front-office makeover that will be followed by the premeditated hiring of Mike Shanahan as the next head coach, the powers-that-be believe that the Redskins met the requirements of the Rooney Rule.
“We’re very satisfied,” John Wooten, chairman of the Fritz Pollard
Alliance, told Mark Maske of the Washington Post. “They fulfilled it over 10
Commissioner Roger Goodell said during a live chat at NFL.com that the Redskins complied with the rule that requires at least one minority candidate to be interviewed for General Manager positions.
Still, no one will say who was interviewed.
A league source tells us that at least one of the candidates currently works for the Redskins, and that the candidate didn’t believe it was a sham interview. But if Allen was hired as part of a premeditated effort to bring in Shanahan, it necessarily was a sham interview.
Besides, at a time when Cerrato is quitting because the current front office isn’t getting it done, it’s ridiculous to think that owner Daniel Snyder would have rewarded sustained mediocrity by giving one of Cerrato’s lieutenants a bump up.
The goal of the Rooney Rule, as we understand it, is to ensure an inclusive hiring process. The notion that the rule can be fulfilled by duping an in-house minority candidate into thinking that he has a legitimate shot at the job doesn’t constitute an inclusive hiring process, in our view.
So we propose a new twist to the Rooney Rule. We believe that the rule should be changed to require at least one minority candidate from outside the organization to be interviewed. Frankly, it’s just too easy (in most cases) to persuade a person already on the payroll to “take one for the team,” especially if the wink-nod-cough-fart request to interview comes with the wink-nod-cough-fart implication that loyalty in this regard will be rewarded.
An outsider to the organization will have no reason to interview other
than to try to get the job, and thereafter will have no incentive to
claim that it was a legitimate interview process if the candidate
doesn’t truly believe that it was.
In this case, we recognize that it’s possible an external candidate was interviewed. But there’s no way of knowing that because it all happened quickly — and in the wake of the abrupt change no one is talking. So the Rooney Rule also should impose a minimum time period for which the job must be vacant, in order to give qualified candidates of every race, color, creed, and national origin an opportunity to apply for the position.
After all, it’s hard to know to apply for a position when the qualified candidates don’t even realize the position is vacant.