Ivan Carter: Is Rooney Rule still needed?

Ivan Carter: Is Rooney Rule still needed?
January 5, 2011, 3:39 pm
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Wednesday, January 5, 2011, 11:30 a.m.

By Ivan Carter

The "Rooney Rule" was put into place back in 2002 with the idea of creating more opportunities for minority coaches, primarily African American candidates who have been too often overlooked for head coaching jobs in a league that is primarily made up of AA players.

Is it still needed?

Great question.

In 2002, the league had two black coaches (I'll use that term because I'm comfortable with it, hope everyone else is as well): Tony Dungy with the Colts and Herm Edwards of the Jets. As of now, the league has five: Mike Tomlin of the Steelers, Leslie Frazier of the Vikings, Marvin Lewis of the Bengals, Raheem Morris of the Buc, Jim Caldwell of the Colts and Lovie Smith of the Bears. Mike Singletary was just fired by the 49ers.

Whether because of the rule or not, teams have been increasingly open to looking at young black coaches. Tomlin was a very good defensive coordinator when the Steelers, owned by the Rooney's, put their money where their mouth is by hiring him to replace Bill Cowher. A few years later, the Bucs stunned many by hiring the relatively inexperienced Morris. That's turned out well.

The issue really comes out when you talk about the situation like the one we see in Dallas. It's obvious that Jerry Jones wants to hire Jason Garrett as head coach and why not? Garrett played there, has been on the staff for years and gave a solid audition this season. So why should Dallas have to bring in a minority candidate and go through the motions of interviewing him when it's obvious he has no shot at the job? Is that insulting the candidate? Remember how many times Dungy was brought in for interviews and passed over.

Thing is, I still believe that the interview itself has value. I mean, just because you don't hire me now doesn't mean that I can't impress you and maybe you come get me a year or two from now. Or perhaps you're so impressed, you pass the word through NFL channels (and I can tell you as a guy who covered the league for six years that it's a small, small world) and some other team gives me a call. I believe there is value in the interview itself.

Anyway, I'd love to get your input on this below in the comments section and we'll be talking about it on the show today. Mike Wise of the Post and 106.7 the fan is in the house as well as Jason Reid of the Post and I'll interview HBO Sports president Ross Greenburg about the excellent 247 series involving the Caps and Pens.

Check out the show at 5 (replay at 11:30). Get involved by tweeting at twitter.comwashpostlive.