Proposed coordinator expansion of Rooney Rule wouldn’t apply to new head coaches


The statement released on Tuesday by the Fritz Pollard Alliance regarding the proposed expansion of the Rooney Rule omits a key exception to the request that the provision apply to all coordinator and assistant head-coaching positions.

The January 19 letter from the Fritz Pollard Alliance to the NFL indicates that the Rooney Rule would not apply to hires made by a head coach who has just been hired.

“[A]lthough we believe that a new head coach coming in should have the right to construct his staff as he wishes, in the case of a sitting head coach we propose that the Rooney Rule apply to all offensive and defensive coordinator and assistant head coach hirings,” Fritz Pollard Alliance chairman John Wooten and executive director Harry Carson wrote in a letter to NFL executive V.P. of human resources Robert Gulliver and NFL executive V.P. and general counsel Jeff Pash.

The exception could, in many cases, swallow the rule.  Most of the hiring of coordinators happens when a new staff is put in place.  The willingness to exempt newly-hired head coaches reflects the urgency of building a staff upon being hired.  Still, that same urgency exists once a coordinator leaves.

So if the rule is going to be expanded to include coordinators and assistant head coaches, the rule should include all such hires, not some.