clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Are the Seahawks and the NFL making a mockery of the Rooney rule?

Fooch's Note: People have gotten a little too childish in this thread so I'm closing the comments.

The line of the weekend had to come from Bill Simmons' Twitter account:

Thank God for the Rooney Rule. Otherwise Leslie Frazier never woulda had a chance to not have a chance at the Seahawks job.

When I first began typing this post, a Pete Carroll deal was not complete.  However, at this point the team has officially announced Carroll as their new head coach (live press conference Tuesday at 10am).  Just before the Pete Carroll news began blowing up, the news was indicating the Seahawks were going to interview Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier.  Frazier is respected in the league and was recommended by the Fritz Pollard Alliance, which is a group that "promotes diversity and equality in coaching."

Saturday, when I was watching the half-time studio show of the Cowboys game I noticed some info on the bottom ticker.  It said that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had stated that the Seahawks had satisfied the Rooney Rule.  The rule itself basically says that a team has to interview minority candidates before it can make a coaching hire.  The SI article linked above had an interesting point about the issue of Pete Carroll potentially being GM:

However, Wooten said Frazier will not interview for the job unless Leiweke first assures Frazier that Carroll will not have total control.

That is critical because if the Seahawks are not willing to draw a line with Carroll over GM responsibilities, that is a clear indication he is their guy. Therefore, there would be no reason for Frazier to interview, other than to satisfy the Seahawks' need to comply with the Rooney Rule.

So, since the Seahawks met with Frazier on Saturday, they would seem to have met the proverbial "letter of the law."  The question is whether they met the spirit of it.  I'm not saying I necessarily have a problem with the Seahawks knowing the guy they want and going for him.  It just seems like a token interview makes a mockery of the system.  I suppose that just makes it a vicious cycle.  They have to interview minority candidates, but they know the guy they want (even if he's not a good choice).  So they do the Frazier interview to dot their i and cross their t.

So, is there a better way to handle this?  Here's an interesting take on the issue that includes ideas like taking away draft picks and imposing penalties on a team's salary cap.  That's all well and good, but let's take a look at the Seahawks situation.  Paul Allen really wanted to make a splash with Pete Carroll.  If he was intent on hiring Pete Carroll because he's a big name, what are you forcing the Seahawks to do with the Rooney rule?  Interview multiple minorities for the sake of interviewing them?

This post has been all over the place because I really don't know how the situation should be handled.  On the one hand, they want to develop more minorities in coaching positions (and also front office positions now).  On the other hand, if Paul Allen knows he wants Carroll, but goes through the necessary process with no intention of ever hiring one of those who went through the process, what have you gained?