The Rooney Rule

February 2, 2017 By

The Rooney Rule has served as a useful tool to advance hiring for minority’s in both the N.F.L. and the state of Oregon college athletics. Just this year (2017) alone The N.F.L. saw the number of minority head coaches rise to 8.

Oregon had one of its best single days in minority hiring since HB 3118 or The Oregon Rooney Rule became law in 2010. Portland State hired Valerie Cleary as its new Athletic Director and The University Oregon hired Willie Taggert as their head football coach making coach Taggert the first black head football coach at the University of Oregon in the school’s history.

Since the Rooney Rule became law in Oregon there have been other significant minority hires, and many opportunities for minority coaches to get an interview in sports other than football.

I am still working to convince the N.C.A.A. and Pac-12 to see the value it brings to coaches and student athletes across the country and to adopt the rule.

I believe the Rooney Rule could make some changes in Oregon:

  • Amended the law to add assistant head coaches and or coordinator positions.
  • State wide tracking and reporting of all openings and compliance with the law.
  • State wide committee to assist schools with compliance, i.e. notifying and recruiting qualified candidates, community and student engagement mentoring and training for those seeking coaching or athletic director jobs.
  • Adding woman to the law where woman sports are considered and require that 2/3rds of all final coaching candidates are woman. This is the idea of Dr. Richard lapchick of the University of Central Florida’s Devos institute.
  • Requiring that 2/3rd of all interview panels consist of non-white members.

More to follow on this issue, your thoughts and comments are welcome.