Hi, I've got a couple of questions on the “Rooney rule”:
1 - Why is it called that?
2 - Can you promote an interim coach without having to interview a minority candidate?
3 - Is there a “reverse Rooney rule”? Leslie Frazier was promoted to head coach of the Vikings (good for him); was it required that the Vikings interview a non-African American?
Keep up the good work and go PATS !!!
Marc, Raymond, N.H.
Great questions, Marc. The Rooney Rule is named for Steelers’ owner Dan Rooney, who in 2003 chaired a committee to look into the fact that despite 70 percent of NFL players being African-American, at the time only 28 percent of the dozens of assistant coaches and just two of the 32 head coaches were African-American (Herm Edwards and Tony Dungy). Now, teams are required to interview minority candidates for head coaching and senior front-office openings. Of course, for the rule to work, the interviews should be legitimate and not a poor attempt to fulfill the NFL’s requirement.
With interim coaches, a minority candidate must be interviewed before the interim tag can be lifted. The Cowboys, for example, interviewed their receivers coach, Ray Sherman, and Miami assistant head coach Todd Bowles before promoting Jason Garrett, a move which had long seemed a foregone conclusion.
There is not a reverse Rooney rule; since Frazier is African-American, the Vikings were not required to interview any other candidates before promoting him.
There is one time when a team does not have to interview a minority candidate, and that is if there is already a pre-existing agreement in place to promote a member of a staff. For example – and this is only an example – if the Patriots had a deal with linebackers coach Matt Patricia for him to be “coach in waiting” and become head coach when Bill Belichick retires, they would not have to interview another candidate.
What was the company name of the Patriots’ stadium before it was Gillette?
Dan McDonald, Naples, Fla.
A blast from the past! The stadium opened in 2002 as CMGi Field; CMGi, now known as ModusLink Global Solutions, was a dot-com/technology venture that ran into major financial issues that same year and could no longer afford the reported $7.6 million annually it had agreed to pay for naming rights. Shortly thereafter, Gillette stepped in and reached an agreement to take over naming rights.