League looking into possible Rooney Rule violation


If the FPA is this adamant about the Raiders potentially violating the Rooney Rule, then it is the due diligence of the National Football League to investigate the matter.

Under NFL rules aimed at promoting diversity, teams are required to interview at least one minority candidate as part of an open process for head coaching jobs.

- The NFL has launched an investigation into whether or not the Oakland Raiders violated the Rooney Rule during their head coach hiring process, ESPN reports. Oakland appeared to fulfill the mandate by interviewing its tight ends coach, Bobby Johnson, and USC offensive coordinator Tee Martin.

While the Raiders have been criticized for turning the Rooney Rule into a farce, you have to wonder about the NFL's motivation here too.

It wasn't like any other team was going to land Gruden's services, especially after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers opted out of a potential bidding war for his services with the Raiders.

The Raiders fired Jack Del Rio on New Year's Eve, which means Davis knew at the time he fired his current coach who he wanted to hire.

"We are looking into the matter", the NFL said in a written statement through a league spokesman. Everyone did. To say otherwise would be disingenuous. But now logistics and semantics are coming into play as speculation mounts about whether the duo were used as window dressing to mask a decision the Raiders brain trust had already made beforehand.

The Raiders were in a no-win spot. With five division championships and a Super Bowl in his ten years as a head coach, it's not surprising.

Davis said he had been pursuing Gruden since taking ownership of the team from his late father, Hall of Famer Al Davis, six years ago.

Of course, this shows the biggest problem with the Rooney Rule. Nobody was. Gruden was the top candidate, if he was available. Almost a week later, it was announced that he would be getting a 10-year contract worth $100 million.

That has led to a longer discussion about the Rooney Rule.

If the Fritz Pollard Alliance Foundation really wants to find out whether or not Raiders' owner Mark Davis has racial bias, they should just look at the franchise's hiring history. But the NFL saw the criticism, and now it will probably blame the Raiders after the league signed off on all of it.