NFL reportedly increases Rooney Rule stipulations

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In its latest attempt to increase diversity, the NFL reportedly is increasing the scope of the Rooney Rule to require additional interviews with minority candidates for key positions.

The NFL established the Rooney Rule in 2003, requiring teams to interview minority candidates for all head-coaching openings. The league expanded the rule in 2009 to include senior football operations jobs.

According to a Monday report from NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the altered rule would mandate that teams must interview two or more external minority candidates for head-coaching openings, and they must talk with at least one external minority candidate for vacancies at offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator, general manager and senior football operation roles.

The news comes days after multiple media outlets reported that the NFL is putting forward another rule change that would reward draft-pick compensation to teams that made hire minorities.

Under the proposal, teams would move up 10 places in the third round of the draft ahead of the second year under a newly hired minority GM. For newly hired head coaches of color, teams would get a six-place jump in the third round of the draft before his second season.

Should a team hire a minority head coach and GM in the same year, the rise would be 16 places in the third round — potentially into the second round.

Teams also would get a five-spot bump in the fourth round ahead of the third season of diverse head coaches or GMs. Also, if a minority quarterbacks coach is retained beyond one season, his team would get an additional draft pick at the end of the fourth round.

The NFL also is looking to eliminate the rule that allows teams to block assistant coaches from moving to another team to take a coordinator job. The change is viewed as helpful for minority head-coaching applicants, as teams generally want candidates to have coordinator experience.

The draft-pick proposals reportedly will be discussed Tuesday during the virtual owners meeting. At least 24 of the 32 teams must vote in favor for the changes to be enacted.

However, according to NFL.com, the Rooney Rule proposal would not need the owners’ approval to become official.

In the current offseason, only one of five head-coaching vacancies went to a minority candidate, with the Washington Redskins hiring former Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera. Just three of the past 20 head-coaching openings were filled by a person of color, per NFL.com.