While stopping short of offering the carrot of improved draft stock, the NFL did make some changes during Tuesday’s meeting toward the goal of increasing opportunities for minority coaches and personnel employees.
In addition to removing team’s ability to block assistants from interviewing for coordinator jobs, the league adopted other new procedures and workplace reforms.
The rule also applies to the personnel side, preventing teams from blocking employees from interviewing for assistant General Manager jobs. The league will also require teams to submit their organizational reporting structure, so the league can determine which jobs are actually coordinator-level positions.
“We believe these new policies demonstrate the NFL Owners’ commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in the NFL,” Steelers owner and chairman of the workplace diversity committee Art Rooney II said in a release. “The development of young coaches and young executives is a key to our future. These steps will assure coaching and football personnel are afforded a fair and equitable opportunity to advance throughout our football operations. We also have taken important steps to ensure that our front offices, which represent our clubs in so many different ways, come to reflect the true diversity of our fans and our country.”
The league also announced improvements to the Rooney Rule, which will include requirements to interview at least two external minority candidates for head coaching jobs, at least one minority candidate for any of the three coordinator positions, and at least one external minority candidate for the senior football operations or G.M. jobs.
The league’s also expanding the Rooney Rule to more executive positions, saying teams must include “minorities and/or female applicants for front office positions including club presidents and senior executives in communications, finance, human resources, legal, football operations, sales, marketing, sponsorship, information technology, and security positions.
There will also be an expansion of minority coaching fellowships, with each team creating a full-time position which will range from a year to two years to provide training for former players, minorities, and female coaches.