It might not be broken, but the NFL’s “Rooney Rule” — which requires teams to interview minority head coach and general manager candidates — at the very least needs some work. There hasn’t been one minority candidate hired so far this offseason, despite a 15 openings.
Former Kansas City Chiefs head coach Herm Edwards talked to the Associated Press about the rule being followed, but not really followed.
“When you use the Rooney Rule and not correctly, you put a little bit of a bad mark on Mr. Rooney’s name, and that is not good,” Edwards said Wednesday. “If it keeps going this way, we might need to take his name off the rule. It is not being used in the right manner that Mr. Rooney meant it to be.”
While the NFL has said there will be revisions made to the rule, which unfortunately are clearly needed, we still have plenty of people that don’t believe in the need for the rule at all. But as the AP points out, there were only six minority head coaches in over 80 years, but 12 since it went into effect.
Without the Rooney Rule, where are the Pittsburgh Steelers? We’ll obviously never know the answer to that question, but it’s unlikely they would have a guy that can be their head coach for another decade.
The idealist in me likes to believe we are beyond the Good Ole Boys network needing to be forced to look at minority candidates. That the most qualified guys (and gals) will get hired. Instead I know we need to tweak the Rooney Rule and expand it to go beyond just head coaches and general managers.
I didn’t agree with him much during his time as the Chiefs head coach, however Edwards is making a whole lot of sense right now.
“I am not saying you have to hire a minority candidate. No one is saying that. I am saying you can’t be blinded. It can’t be, ‘Who is the guy to interview to get this out of the way?’”
“The problem I have is you don’t really abide by the Rooney Rule the correct way.”