The Washington Redskins and Seattle Seahawks have apparently complied with the letter of the Rooney Rule by interviewing a minority candidate before hiring Mike Shanahan and Pete Carroll. But they plainly haven’t complied with the spirit of the Rooney Rule.
And while the Fritz Pollard Alliance has strangely said it’s OK with how the Redskins and Seahawks handled things, former Colts coach Tony Dungy says it’s clear that the Rooney Rule isn’t working properly.
“That is not what the Rooney Rule is supposed to be, [that] you make up your mind and then interview a candidate for it anyway just to satisfy the rule,” Dungy said.
Dungy pointed out that the Redskins’ compliance with the Rooney Rule reportedly consisted of interviewing their own assistant coach, Jerry Gray, at a time when the head-coaching job wasn’t even open.
“If the Jerry Gray situation is the way it has been described as happening, I don’t think it was fair,” Dungy said. “I don’t think I would ever interview for a job if my boss was not out of the job. I don’t blame Jerry; it’s the position he was put in, if it happened that way.”
Still, Dungy thinks minority coaches like Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier can benefit from interviews even when those interviews don’t yield job offers.
“Even in cases where you don’t get the job, I know Leslie interviewed with the Dolphins and know Bill Parcells came away impressed and told other people how impressed he was, and he is a sharp guy and that helps,” Dungy said. “That goes a ways in promoting that diversity.”