NFL Finds Raiders Complied With Rooney Rule in Jon Gruden Hiring

NFL says Raiders complied with Rooney Rule in hiring of Jon Gruden

NFL says Raiders complied with Rooney Rule in hiring of Jon Gruden

The NFL announced that the Oakland Raiders were in compliance with the Rooney Rule during the hiring of Jon Gruden as their head coach.

Two lawyers from the Fritz Pollard Alliance, the advocacy group that works with the National Football League to promote diversity in the coaching and front office ranks, asked the National Football League to investigate the Gruden hiring last week. "If so, the Club violated the Rooney Rule, which was instituted by the National Football League in 2003 and requires teams to interview at least one candidate of color for open head coaching and general manager positions".

The league said it was satisfied that the Raiders and owner Mark Davis interviewed minority candidates for the position before reaching an agreement with Gruden. Oakland did not formally hire Gruden until January 6, though Davis said during Gruden's introductory press conference that they had significant discussions about the position around Christmas. "The only candidate the Club interviewed who was on anyone's prospective head coach list - minority or non-minority - was Gruden". At present, only six teams have black head coaches.

The league said a review found the Raiders conducted "bona fide" interviews with minority candidates during their search for a replacement for Jack Del Rio, who was sacked after a disappointing six-win season.

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"We believe the facts overwhelmingly point in the other direction", the alliance said in a statement obtained by the NFL Network.

The league spoke to owner Mark Davis, general manager Reggie McKenzie, and Gruden in the course of the investigation, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. At a meeting in Tampa, Florida, leading up to the Raiders' Nov. 5 game against the Miami Dolphins, Davis said that he first gained a sense Gruden was ready to leave the ESPN broadcasting booth and return to coaching. In 2003 then-Commissioner Paul Tagliabue fined then-Lions president Matt Millen $200,000 for failing to meet the Rooney Rule, which was established that year. Jail records show Anderson faces nine charges, including threatening harm to a public servant, resisting arrest and traffic violations. He spent this past season as the Rams quarterback coach.

The Raiders have a longstanding reputation as a champion of opportunity for underrepresented people in the NFL. He led the Buccaneers to the Super Bowl title over Oakland the following season. In 2006, Shell was hired again as head coach. Davis' father, Al, was responsible for the other coaching and front office hires.

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