Several readers have asked us how the Rams were able to hire coach Jim Haslett and the Raiders were able to hire coach Tom Cable without interviewing one or more minority candidates.
Per NFL spokesman Greg Aiello, the Rooney Rule doesn’t apply to interim hires.
Aiello said that the requirement to interview at least one minority candidate will apply when the Rams and the Raiders are filling the job for 2009 and beyond.


  1. Does the Rooney Rule define “minority”? Does interviewing a Native American count? How about a pygmy from Papua New Guinea? What about interviewing an Islamic cowboy…they certainly are a minority.
    Is there an official minority litany: black, Hispanic, Asian?
    Or would interviewing a lesbian of any color satisfy the requirement?
    As long as the NFL is going to be politically correct, shouldn’t the rules be explicit?
    I know a guy who is an albino. Does he qualify as a minority?

  2. Is anyone still under the impression that a billion dollar nfl franchise would fail to hire the best candidate for the job, the candidate with the most potential to deliver the most wins, because he is black?
    An nfl team, in an extreme, ultra-competitive environment, is willing to leave millions of dollars on the table because they would rather have a second tier white coach? No, that’s ridiculous, and it’s insulting to black coaches to assume that the only way they can get into the door for an interview is by forcing the owners into a token interview.
    It’s a joke, an a lame attempt by the nfl to fake the appearance of being racially tolerant.

  3. Davis is a sly old goat. He can recoup his legal costs by getting endorsements running ads saying “I switched to Cable, why don’t you?”

  4. What happens if you want lift the interim tag and give the guy the job? Do you have to interview minority candidates at that point before making him the “permanent” replacement? In other words, lets say the Raiders win a playoff game this year (very unlikely), does the team still have to go through the Rooney Rule motions?

  5. That is funny. Lets say one of them takes their team to the playoffs. Obviously they will keep the coach, but they still have to interview a minority candidate. Good luck finding someone that dumb.

  6. “I thought all the coaches for the Raiders were interim coaches????? ”
    Seriously though, as a black man, anda proponent of many principles and practices of Affirmative Action, I find this rule disgusting. What it ends up doing is making African American candidates run from team to team every year for interviews for jobs that they will never get. In a business where coaches are as disposable as players, and Blacks make up over 60% of the player population; I can’t imagine there is a racially motivated Owner/GM in football.

  7. The Rooney rule is outdated, but it is harmless. No one has to hire unqualified coaches, just interview a broader group of potential coaches.

  8. Who cares about the Rooney rule. The NFL voluntary adopted that rule. What next does the NFL need to adopt Title IX?

  9. Maybe Aiello should check Haslett’s title. The Post-Dispatch says he got a new contract and is the head coach, not interim head coach. We suck as it is, we don’t need to lose draft picks for this.

  10. wolfgang, the rule is in place because old white men like to hire old white men, even if those old white men aren’t even close to being the best candidates. It just happens. The rule needs to be in place.
    And Florio I know you don’t like people “telling” you what to do, but I have a suggestion to continue off of this post: SHOULD there be a Rooney Rule for interim hires?

  11. Do they also force teams to draft a white guy to play tailback or cornerback? When do we see the first black owner? Perhaps the Steelers should be sold to a minority, for that very reason.

  12. Well if Al Davis interviewed the entire coaching staff like he said he did, James Lofton is a part of that staff, even if the rule doesn’t apply to hiring interim coaches.

  13. I’m all for racial equality and hiring minorities, but I just don’t like this rule. Let’s say the Rams are intent on hiring, say, Brian Billick for the head coaching job in ’09. They feel he is the best guy available and they really want him as their coach. Nothing wrong with that. But they have to waste not only their own time but the time of whatever minority “candidate” they interview, knowing that it is a dummy interview and that said interviewee won’t get the job no matter how well the interview goes? That doesn’t make sense to me.

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