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Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Should NCAA Adopt Rooney Rule?

On our blog, dre cummings and Roger Groves have written extensively about the Rooney Rule, an internal NFL rule which requires that NFL teams interview minority candidates for head coaching positions and which (as Cumberland law prof Marcia McCormick wrote about on Workplace Prof Blog earlier this month), now also requires that teams interview minority candidates for senior football operations positions. Thought it's difficult to show "causation" there has been a marked increase in the number of African-American head coaches since the league adopted the Rooney Rule. For some terrific background on the history and goals of the Rooney Rule, check out Temple law prof Jeremi Duru's article in the Virginia Sports and Entertainment Law Journal and dre cummings' article in the Thurgood Marshall Law Review.

Interestingly, the NCAA has not adopted the Rooney Rule. Over on NCAA Double-A Zone blog, Marta Lawrence has a good piece on the NCAA's position. Here's an excerpt:

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While the Rooney Rule has worked to help diversify the NFL coaching ranks, NCAA President Myles Brand and Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion Charlotte Westerhaus maintain a similar rule for college athletics won't work.

"The 'Rooney Rule' is an interviewing rule," writes Westerhaus in a recent blog post. "More candidates than ever before were interviewed last fall without an interview mandate similar to the 'Rooney Rule' and without the possibility of sanctions for noncompliance. What was the end result? Only four African Americans were hired as head football coaches of color in Division I FBS. This simply is not good enough.

"The NCAA is not opposed to equal opportunity within the interview process. But what is needed now is an end to side-stepping the crux of the hiring dilemma. Interviewing is not hiring. What is needed is more hires of head football coaches of color, not mandated interviews and the continued perpetuation of false hope."

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To read the rest, click here. To read a law review article advocating that the NCAA adopt the Rooney Rule, see Michael Nicholas' article in the Virginia Sports and Entertainment Law Journal.


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