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Rooney: Rooney Rule 'workable'

The SportsXchange

The "Rooney Rule" is workable - with some tweaks - according to its namesake.

Pittsburgh Steelers chairman Dan Rooney believes the fact no minorities were hired for the eight head coaching vacancies or seven general manager-level jobs this year was an anomaly.

"I think what we have is definitely a workable thing," Rooney told the NFL Network. "We do have to come up with an idea to try to help people to get to be candidates. But it does get down to the coaches building a staff."

NFL executive vice president of human resources called the lack of minority hirings, "disappointing."

However, Rooney said each of the franchises involved complied with the interviewing and hiring procedures.

"As far as, now people saying they didn't get the job. Maybe this year, there weren't the candidates they thought there would be so they would get the jobs," Rooney said. "On the other hand, it's up to the coach, the candidate, to show the owner that they're capable of doing the job. That's a big thing. Evidently, they weren't able to do that this year."

He wants to focus on building up training methods to put minority candidates in position to impress owners and general managers. Rooney would also like to encourage teams to take their time building coaching staffs and not rush to fill positions with people they know.

However, at the end of the day the Rooney Rule is intended to give minorities candidates opportunities to interview - but it's still up to the teams to make the hiring choices they believe is best for their franchises.

"You can't saddle these (coaches or owners) and say 'You have to do this,' " Rooney said. "We want minorities to get the job, and we're willing to say that's our goal. But when it gets down to a team, you can't say to them, 'This is what you have to do.' You can say to the owners that the Rooney Rule, you have to follow it."

Gulliver agrees that more needs to be done to increase the number of quality minority coaches rising through the ranks.

Gulliver said attention should be "around increasing and strengthening the pipeline of diverse candidates for head coach and senior football executive positions."
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