”While there has been full compliance with the interview requirements of the Rooney Rule and we wish the new head coaches and general managers much success, the hiring results this year have been unexpected and reflect a disappointing lack of diversity.”
– Robert Gulliver, Executive VP, human resources, the NFL
As a rookie coach, Jim Caldwell was almost undefeated in three years at Indianapolis. Now, he’s returning to the Super Bowl as an assistant coach for the Baltimore Ravens. But this successful coach wasn’t approached about any of the eight openings that came up in the NFL at the end of the 2012 NFL football wagering season. Why?
That’s what John Wooten wants to know. As a former NFL player, with nine seasons under his belt, and as a GM and Scouting instructor for a Sports Management school, Wooten says it just doesn’t make sense. Wooten told a YouWager news source, ”That’s almost impossible for me to comprehend.”
Wooten is chairman of the Fritz Pollard Alliance Foundation. An NFL analyst at YouWager reminds us that Frederick Douglass “Fritz” Pollard was the first African American coach in the NFL. Wooten’s organization seeks to promote diversity and fairness in the coaching, front offices, and scouting staffs in the National Football League.
As eight teams hired new coaches and seven more filled general manager positions, none of the jobs went to a minority. So the NFL may make changes to
”Rooney Rule.” The Rooney Rule, as YouWager’s football expert explains, requires NFL teams to interview at least one minority for front-office and head coaching jobs. The rule gets its name from Dan Rooney, the owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the chairman of the NFL’s diversity committee. The Steelers have a history of promoting African Americans in leadership roles.
In September of 2002, Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. and Cyrus Mehri released a report which demonstrated that “black NFL head coaches are held to a higher standard than their white counterparts, and are consequently denied a fair chance to compete for head coaching jobs.” YouWager bettors will likely remember Cochran for his role in the O.J. Simpson murder trial.
Robert Gulliver, an executive vice president in the NFL’s human resources department, said in a statement to a YouWager source,”While there has been full compliance with the interview requirements of the Rooney Rule and we wish the new head coaches and general managers much success, the hiring results this year have been unexpected and reflect a disappointing lack of diversity.”
In Gulliver’s statement for the NFL, he said the Rooney Rule has been a valuable tool in expanding diversity and inclusion in hiring practices, but there is more work to do. ”We have already started the process of developing a plan for additional steps that will better ensure more diversity and inclusion on a regular basis in our hiring results,” Gulliver said. “We look forward to discussing these steps with our advisers to ensure that our employment, development and equal opportunity programs are both robust and successful.”
The Chicago Bears fired head coach Lovie Smith after the Bears went 10-6 in the 2012 NFL football betting season. Smith interviewed with Philadelphia, San Diego and Buffalo. Wooten says at least Smith had interviews. But Caldwell, and Winston Moss, a respected assistant head coach and linebackers coach for the Green Bay Packers, didn’t have that opportunity.
Wooten has a point. YouWager’s football forecaster says there were 203 minority coaches in the NFL in 2012, and that included six head coaches. With Lovie Smith gone from Chicago, and Romeo Crennel no longer with the Kansas City Chiefs, only four minority head coaches will be starting the 2013 NFL wagering season. That’s the least since 2003, YouWager’s expert says.