Will Carroll take the job? (AP)
Established in 2003, the 'Rooney Rule' is an NFL requirement that any team with a head coaching vacancy must interview a minority for the job.
It is an affirmative action failure.
Today there are rumors swirling that the Seattle Seahawks fired head coach Jim Mora (after only one season) in order to make room for USC coach Pete Carroll. Carroll has lead the Trojans to multiple national championships and is a much-sought after NFL coaching prospect. Only one problem; the Rooney Rule.
The Seahawks are interviewing Leslie Frazier of the Minnesota Vikings tomorrow for the job, but what's interesting is that Frazier turned down the interview initially (reportedly) because he believed the he was only being considered because of the Rule. He eventually changed his mind (Seattle maintains that this is an "open" coaching decision) and the interview is going forward.
I say 'baloney'. Seattle clearly wants Pete Carroll and forced out a decent coach and his whole staff in order to make room. Carroll would most-likely only come to the NFL if he can control his own team, and the job is attractive because Seattle doesn't have a general manager. ESPN reported that sources said the team promised Carroll he can build the coaching staff how he wants and a GM will be hired only after the coaching change.
The Rooney Rule is affirmative action for the NFL and the main problem is that minority coaches don't ever know if they are legitimate candidates for a job (like Frazier). When the Steelers organization (inventors of the rule) hired Mike Tomlin in 2007 (who is black and an excellent coach), ironically, they announced that he wasn't hired as a result of the Rule; Hispanic coach Ron Rivera had already filled that requirement. Wow! So the rule is pointless than? I'm sure Rivera felt good that he was only considered because of his race and Tomlin felt empowered when told he didn't need the teams' hand-holding and could beat on white coaches while standing on his own two feet.
NFL teams are multi-billion dollar industries; they will use every competitive advantage. If a team was to discriminate by ignoring excellent candidates, they are hurting themselves. An owner can be as racist as they want, but good luck competing without, say, black players.
Like all affirmative action policies, the Rooney Rule serves only to divide people and denigrates the minorities it seeks to help.