Eagles Violating the Rooney Rule With GM Search?

Written By Bob Cunningham On Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Are the Eagles quietly circumventing the Rooney Rule?



Let me begin by saying that this is merely thinking out loud. I'm not an expert on the Rooney Rule and for the life of me I can't locate the actual rule, just brief summaries of what it entails.

Which, of course, are not helpful considering nearly anyone who follows the NFL could brief someone on the shell of the rule.

And as we all know, the Rooney Rule began with coaching searches, but was recently expanded to front office personnel. This would obviously include the search of a General Manager, which the Eagles are currently doing.

However, what the Eagles are not doing, or don't appear to be doing, is conducting interviews for the position. They instead seem ready to hand the job to Howie Roseman, the current VP of Player Personnel. But if that is their intention, is this not a direct violation of the Rooney Rule?

To be honest, I'm not sure. I've emailed the Fritz Pollard Alliance and am currently awaiting a response. As I said, I'm not well-versed on the rule and considering they're the watchdog group who gives the green-light on such cases, who better to contact?

Also, let's not get to thinking that I'm blowing the whistle on anything here. I'm assuming that if the Eagles are doing something in violation of the rule that the NFL and the Fritz Pollard Alliance are already fully aware.

As far as the rule itself goes, I'm not a huge supporter. I think it was enacted with good intentions behind it, but that the people in charge did not care to think long enough about how it would be implemented. In theory, it sounds good. However, in practice, it's not working so well.

Yes, the percentage of minority coaches has gone up about 16 percent, but I think that's just the changing of a culture and not a result of the implementation of this rule. And if the rule extends to head coaches and front office types, why couldn't it be used to balance the percentage of minority players?

It would, of course, work against the non-white players, so that will never happen, but why isn't there a rule to say that every football team must have at least 15 white players? Every team must try-out at least two white receivers, one tight end, three lineman, a quarterback, a running back, three defensive lineman and four others on the defense.

Those numbers are right off the top of my head and not really something I would ever seriously propose, but would it be such a crazy idea given the usage of the Rooney Rule?

But I digress.

My apologies if this seemed more like a ramble, but it's something that got me thinking and I'll be curious to read what the FPAL has to say on the matter. Check back for updates as I'll be posting their response.


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