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Rooney Rule BS


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'Coach in waiting' loophole is new color barrier

by Ian O'Connor, Ian O'Connor

Updated: February 13, 2008, 12:06 PM EST

 

Lost in a desert storm of confetti, forgotten in the frantic wake of the Giants' historic victory over the Patriots, Doug Williams walked to the rear of the victory stand inside the domed University of Phoenix Stadium and crossed a 20-year divide.

 

By designating Jim Mora as their coach-in-waiting, the Seahawks will not have to abide by the Rooney Rule because technically they'll be promoting from within. (Otto Greule Jr. / Getty Images)

 

The first African-American quarterback to win the Super Bowl wrapped his arms around the first African-American general manager to win the Super Bowl. Two decades after he badly outplayed John Elway on the biggest Sunday in sports, Williams told Jerry Reese that he loved him, that he was proud of him, and that he was certain Reese had just pried open another hermetically sealed door.

 

The Giants' GM would say the experience "was almost like Doug was passing the torch to me."

 

Two days later, Reese would follow up with an email to his kindred spirit and fellow pioneer.

 

"I will keep pushing," Reese promised Williams. "I won't let you down."

 

Way back when, Williams shredded Jurassic stereotypes about black quarterbacks and their ability to lead, and ultimately coaches from Pop Warner through the major college ranks stopped trying to convert those quarterbacks into receivers and corners. Williams' influence on the sport's most visible position is as clear as black and white in today's NFL.

 

But will Reese's rookie-of-the-year run through this year's Super Bowl have the same enduring effect on the face of the front office?

 

Or will pro football's power brokers remain as white as the 50-yard line?

 

On the GM scoreboard this off-season, Atlanta hired Thomas Dimitroff, Miami hired Jeff Ireland, San Francisco upgraded Scot McCloughan, Washington did the same for Vinny Cerrato, and Buffalo answered Marv Levy's departure by promoting Russ Brandon as its chief operating officer. Not one of the above emerged from any pool of minority candidates.

 

Dan Rooney, Steelers owner and lord of the league's committee on workplace diversity, couldn't hit any of the involved franchises with the letter of his law. If the Rooney Rule was violated, it was violated in spirit, not in body.

 

The teams sure did interview African-American candidates. The rule says nothing about actually hiring them.

 

On the coaching front, the appearance of Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith in last year's Super Bowl didn't level the playing field. Four white head coaches were hired to fill four openings — Mike Smith in Atlanta, John Harbaugh in Baltimore, Tony Sparano in Miami, and Jim Zorn in Washington.

 

The NFL does have six black head coaches on its roster of 32, a percentage that actually shames big-time college football, which recently adopted a quasi-Rooney Rule sans the necessary terms of punishment for lawbreaking administrators.

 

But the NFL's six doesn't measure up to the other pro sport dominated by African-American athletes. The NBA has 12 black coaches out of 30, with no prematurely anointed white princes ready to claim thrones that haven't been vacated.

 

Jim Mora, fired in Atlanta, was recently given a four-year deal as head coach of the Seahawks, a transaction that wouldn't have caused much of a stir outside of Seattle but for this little fact:

 

The Seahawks already have a head coach.

 

Only Mike Holmgren says he's done after next season, a claim allowing the Seahawks to find an inviting seam in the Rooney Rule's coverage. Seattle didn't interview a minority candidate for Holmgren's job because the rule allows teams to promote from within without conducting an outside search.

 

It's an exception that shouldn't exist, and one that needs a visit from Mr. Rooney's delete key, sooner rather than later.

 

In effect, Jerry Jones has made the same arrangement for Jason Garrett in Dallas, where Wade Phillips' career hangs by a frayed strand of Jessica Simpson's bleached-out hair. Garrett was given an astounding $3 million a year to stay in the Cowboys' bullpen until Phillips earns the inevitable hook.

 

Yes, Jim Caldwell, African-American aide to Dungy, also has been knighted before his time. But in the end, a system that allows franchises to pre-hire head coaches is one that will favor white hopefuls by giving shelter to an old boys network that needs to be torn down.

 

How can this network finally be dismantled? More African-Americans in upper NFL management is a start, and Reese stands as a living advertisement to the benefits of an open hiring process. He only authored one of the great underdog stories in league history, filling out a roster that vanquished an 18-0 juggernaut led by perhaps the greatest quarterback-coach tandem of all time.

 

"As an African-American GM of a team that won the Super Bowl," Reese said, "you make a statement that we can deliver if given the chance. We only ask for the opportunity to make a difference."

 

No franchise offered that opportunity this time around. The Fritz Pollard Alliance, an advocacy group for black coaches and executives, was hardly thrilled with the appointment of Dimitroff in Atlanta, even if the new GM was a Patriots personnel man who had Bill Belichick's stamp of dynastic approval.

 

Atlanta is a market defined by its strong African-American presence, and the Falcons' owner, Arthur Blank, sits on the NFL's diversity committee. So the Pollard alliance figured it had a fighting chance when it asked the Falcons to consider black executives such as Green Bay's Reggie McKenzie, Jacksonville's James Harris, and Detroit's Martin Mayhew for their GM position.

 

McKenzie got the interview, but didn't get the job.

 

Black coaches were shut out around the league as well, even if Dungy and Smith sent a number of powerful messages to the nation last year, including this one:

 

White superstars (see Manning, Peyton, and Urlacher, Brian) can thrive under black head coaches, too.

 

There shouldn't be any need for a Rooney Rule in the NFL, not at a time when an African-American man might land in the White House. But this off-season is proving why the rule remains as necessary as a game ball on Sunday.

 

Equal opportunity is an ideal as elusive as a 19-0 season.

 

So teams shouldn't be able to lock in a coordinator they see as their future HC and groom in-house talent unless they are black?

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29robbins

2/13/2008

8:12 AM (report inappropriate content)

 

If Patriots were fined $$$ and lost a #1 draft pick for violating and NFL rule should not the Cowboys and Seahawks be punished for breaking the NFL Rooney rule?

 

See doesn't bother naming the Colts because their coach-in-waiting is black. That comment right there is racist.

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See doesn't bother naming the Colts because their coach-in-waiting is black. That comment right there is racist.

 

It amazes me how stupid people really are in this country. Just because a comment is made supporting a minority race, yet excluding a majority race, doesn't make it any less racist. This country is so ass backwards I'm amazed we are still in existence...haha.

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This is a ridiculous article. I'm all in favor of the Rooney rule but this guy is just stirring up shit to sell papers. Of course a team should be allowed to hire from within. (although i don't think crowning an assistant as head coach to be is a smart practice).

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I don't give a rat's ass what color Jerry Reese is. I'm just glad he's our GM. Same with Spags. If their skin colors were reversed, I'd be just as happy.

 

I think the problem is the pool for potential black candidates isn't being developed enough. Not so much with the NFL, since there are a few black coordinators, but in the NCAA, where things are still revolving around the old boy network.

 

 

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I don't give a rat's ass what color Jerry Reese is. I'm just glad he's our GM. Same with Spags. If their skin colors were reversed, I'd be just as happy.

 

I think the problem is the pool for potential black candidates isn't being developed enough. Not so much with the NFL, since there are a few black coordinators, but in the NCAA, where things are still revolving around the old boy network.

 

But what about spanish and chinese coaches? There aren't "enough" of them in the league.

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I honestly don't think that the front offices of organizations are sitting around saying "how can we get around this silly Rooney rule and hire as many white guys as possible while keeping the black man down." This article is rediculous. He is bashing what amounts to a company rewarding it's current employees by promoting them to a vacated position, instead of finding an outside guy who fits the acceptable skin color. WTF?

 

Also I am extremely offended by the liberal us of white in this article. I prefer to be called European American. :rolleyes: When did "Black" become racist?

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I honestly don't think that the front offices of organizations are sitting around saying "how can we get around this silly Rooney rule and hire as many white guys as possible while keeping the black man down." This article is rediculous. He is bashing what amounts to a company rewarding it's current employees by promoting them to a vacated position, instead of finding an outside guy who fits the acceptable skin color. WTF?

 

Also I am extremely offended by the liberal us of white in this article. I prefer to be called European American. :rolleyes: When did "Black" become racist?

 

When white people crumbled under the foot of the media telling us it is, instead of saying FUCK YOU, I'LL SAY WHAT I WANT!!!!!!!!!

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Freedom of speech....it isn't just being able to protest against the government.

 

The main problem is that people are so quick to label somebody. If somebody makes a comment about race, they are quickly labeled a racist. People use words and don't even know what they mean anymore.

 

Racist - hatred or intolerance of another race or other races

 

So by definition, if I have a friend from every race, I can never be labeled a racist, because it's obvious I don't make judgements based on race. That is the meat and potatoes of it boys and girls. And what if somebody is a racist..big deal. Unless he's causing physical harm to people, he has every right to hate whomever he wants for whatever reason he wants.

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But what about spanish and chinese coaches? There aren't "enough" of them in the league.

Show me a group of chinese players as large as the group of black players in the league, and this would be a point. And I would have been happy with Ron Rivera (funny how that Chicago defense went mortal once he was canned) on our coaching staff last year, not knowing what I know now about Spagnuolo.

 

I thought it was pretty clear in my post I'm interested in the guy's brains, not the wrapper it comes in.

 

But on the other hand, you can't tell me that with all the black players in the league, or in the NCAA in particular, there are no good coaching minds with a black wrapper. Hell, on our team, I'd bet Antonio Pierce would someday make a fantastic coach, if he chose to do it. He's not afraid of watching film, he can read plays and make calls accordingly, and he's got the drive and personality to do it. That's just on our squad, I'm sure there are more.

 

Look at Crennel in Cleveland. That poor bastid had the worst luck I've ever seen a coach go through (your top 5 pick TE spends 2 YEARS on IR, you get a top-line FA center who promptly has a career-ending injury within an hour of his first practice), and he almost gets his team into the playoffs in a tough division within 4 years of his hiring anyway--with a running back already years into his decline and a first year starting QB. That "almost" by the way came with a 10-6 record. That's a good coaching job.

 

Black coaches are simply not being cultivated to the level that the player ratio would indicate they should. Instead, the usual list of suspects (Edwards, Green, and Shell) get retreaded. Maybe that has to do with interest, but I don't think that's the only problem.

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Show me a group of chinese players as large as the group of black players in the league, and this would be a point.

 

How do you know there aren't a plethora of brilliant, unathletic Asian football minds out there that can't get a break? So the only way to be considered as a coach is if your race plays in the league? THAT sounds racist to me sir.

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How do you know there aren't a plethora of brilliant, unathletic Asian football minds out there that can't get a break? So the only way to be considered as a coach is if your race plays in the league? THAT sounds racist to me sir.

 

Norm Chow crashed and burned in Tennessee.

 

pretty sure ron rivera is Philippino.

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The NFL does have six black head coaches on its roster of 32, a percentage that actually shames big-time college football, which recently adopted a quasi-Rooney Rule sans the necessary terms of punishment for lawbreaking administrators.

 

But the NFL's six doesn't measure up to the other pro sport dominated by African-American athletes. The NBA has 12 black coaches out of 30, with no prematurely anointed white princes ready to claim thrones that haven't been vacated.

 

Black coaches are simply not being cultivated to the level that the player ratio would indicate they should. Instead, the usual list of suspects (Edwards, Green, and Shell) get retreaded. Maybe that has to do with interest, but I don't think that's the only problem.

 

Per the CIA the United States Population breaks down as 81.7% White, 12.9% Black, 4.2% Asian and a few others. Polpulation Percentages Now, with 6 black coaches in the NFL that makes the percentage of black coaches in the NFL 18.75% which is above the national percentage. OK not good enough. Let's make it an exact ratio of black players to white players. Still not good enough? OK lets just remove all white coaches and players from the league. We good now?

 

Talking percentages in this issue makes no sense. I still can't understand what skin color has to do with coaching qualifications. Why do only head coaches count toward the discussion? I don't know the percentages, but I'm sure there are quite a few black co-ordinators and possition coaches in the league. There will always be a racial divide in this country because of people like O'Connor. <_<

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:doh:

 

I don't give a rat's ass what color Jerry Reese is. I'm just glad he's our GM. Same with Spags. If their skin colors were reversed, I'd be just as happy.

 

I think the problem is the pool for potential black candidates isn't being developed enough. Not so much with the NFL, since there are a few black coordinators, but in the NCAA, where things are still revolving around the old boy network.

Just in case you didn't read my first post in this thread. I'm not sure how I became the spokesman for the ACLU here...

 

How do you know there aren't a plethora of brilliant, unathletic Asian football minds out there that can't get a break? So the only way to be considered as a coach is if your race plays in the league? THAT sounds racist to me sir.

 

Frankly, I don't. And that would tie into the old-boy network at the NCAA level anyway, wouldn't it? So how is this a conflict to what I'm saying? But logically speaking, if more of a particular group have an interest in a sport to actually play in the sport, it's not unreasonable to guess more would be interested in the coaching end as well. If an asian is qualified, have at it. I DO NOT CARE.

 

Per the CIA the United States Population breaks down as 81.7% White, 12.9% Black, 4.2% Asian and a few others. Polpulation Percentages Now, with 6 black coaches in the NFL that makes the percentage of black coaches in the NFL 18.75% which is above the national percentage. OK not good enough. Let's make it an exact ratio of black players to white players. Still not good enough? OK lets just remove all white coaches and players from the league. We good now?

 

Talking percentages in this issue makes no sense. I still can't understand what skin color has to do with coaching qualifications. Why do only head coaches count toward the discussion? I don't know the percentages, but I'm sure there are quite a few black co-ordinators and possition coaches in the league. There will always be a racial divide in this country because of people like O'Connor. <_<

:confused:

Why would I even begin to care about the US population here? Half the US population (more or less) are women. I'm not suggesting there should be women football coaches, either.

 

I'm talking about the percentages within the NFL. You can't try to tell me that within the NFL the population is 81:12. I'm not even suggesting a quota. All I'm stating is that the number of black coaches does not reflect the reality of the player population. Logically, it should, not because of a quota, but because there should be a higher number of qualified black coaches; but that isn't happening.

 

Again, I'm not even laying the fault at the NFL. I think it has more to do with the NCAA--can you think of a single black football head coach at a major program? I can't. And that makes no sense to me whatsoever.

 

Now can I get back to being a grumpy old white guy?

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Why would I even begin to care about the US population here? Half the US population (more or less) are women. I'm not suggesting there should be women football coaches, either.

 

I'm talking about the percentages within the NFL. You can't try to tell me that within the NFL the population is 81:12. I'm not even suggesting a quota. All I'm stating is that the number of black coaches does not reflect the reality of the player population. Logically, it should, not because of a quota, but because there should be a higher number of qualified black coaches; but that isn't happening.

 

Again, I'm not even laying the fault at the NFL. I think it has more to do with the NCAA--can you think of a single black football head coach at a major program? I can't. And that makes no sense to me whatsoever.

 

Now can I get back to being a grumpy old white guy?

Yeah I hear ya. I'm more venting on the guy that wrote the article. I know that it is a stretch to include the US population, but it seems that someone who writes an article like that just seems to find these percentages that make the sporting world out to be the kkk.

 

Anyway the only black coach in a semi major program that I can think of is Ty Willingham.

 

I too will go back to being a semi grumpy semi old white guy.

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Yeah I hear ya. I'm more venting on the guy that wrote the article. I know that it is a stretch to include the US population, but it seems that someone who writes an article like that just seems to find these percentages that make the sporting world out to be the kkk.

 

Anyway the only black coach in a semi major program that I can think of is Ty Willingham.

 

I too will go back to being a semi grumpy semi old white guy.

I agree with you that the article is overboard.

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The whole justification for this nonsense is that the percentage of coaches who are black do not match the percentage of players who are black. So if we're going to give out jobs based on race, why not split the coaches and players 50/50 white and black. Or perhaps 40/40 leaving some 20% for 'other' races.

 

Who cares who the best players are, we need 11 white and 11 black.

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