Longtime NFL executive Marc Ross says the “Rooney Rule” is a “mockery” and a “sham” and if it isn’t fixed, talented minority coaches will continue to be overlooked.
If you’re not familiar with Ross … he has 21 years of front office experience and was most recently the NY Giants VP of Player Evaluation. Ross was responsible for helping draft players like Odell Beckham Jr., Landon Collins, and Jason Pierre-Paul.
In December 2017, Ross interviewed for Big Blues general manager job after the organization fired Jerry Reese.
Ross didn’t get the gig … and he says that’s not the only time he’s interviewed and been passed over for a GM job.
In fact, Ross — who graduated from Princeton and was at one time the youngest college scouting director in the NFL (27 years old) — says he interviewed 12 times for the position … but was never hired.
So, why are we talking about this?
The NFL’s “Rooney Rule” has been under major scrutiny this off-season after all but 1 (Ron Rivera in Washington) of the available head coaching jobs went to white coaches.
The Rooney Rule is a policy that was instituted in 2003 … which mandated all teams interview a minority candidate prior to hiring a coach or GM.
In theory, it was designed to help minorities land jobs … but Ross says it clearly hasn’t worked.
“The intent of it was to put minority candidates in front of the owners and think that once the owners saw these candidates that were qualified and capable of the job that they would start hiring them,” Ross tells us.
“The problem was that the owners already in their mind, for the most part, knew who they wanted to hire and were just going through the routine of interviewing a minority candidate without any true intentions of making them a viable candidate for the job, so it turned to just kind of a mockery or a sham.”
Ross says although the Rooney Rule hasn’t been effective, it’s not a complete lost cause … but changes need to be made.
“If we’re going to use the Rooney rule, increase the number of minority candidates that are required to be in the interview pool.”