It was largely met with muted relief when the league announced that it had tabled one resolution for the expansion of the Rooney Rule that would provide draft compensation to teams for hiring minority candidates to head coach and general manager jobs, among other ideas for compensation.
For those who oppose this type of procedure, however, I wouldn’t get my hopes up, because the league made it quite clear that, not only is there support for the idea, but that tit will definitely be revisited. Most likely, they will vote on a revised and possibly expanded version of the resolution later this year that would go into effect next year.
“You’re assuming we didn’t have the support for it, but in fact we table resolutions frequently because the discussion leads to other ideas that actually could make it even more effective”, commissioner Roger Goodell said, as quoted by Bob Labriola for an article on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ website yesterday. “Between [Steelers president Art Rooney II] and I and some of the other members of the committee I’ve talked to, virtually with every club there was a great deal of support but there’s also some suggestions, amendments, and thoughts where we might want to go back and talk to others including the Fritz Pollard Alliance and try to strengthen it”.
It’s not clear how long this particular proposal and the specific elements that it possessed had been in the works, but it was only reported on days ago, and quickly drew backlash from prominent individuals such as Eric Bieniemy, one of only two minority offensive coaches in the league, and Tony Dungy, the only African American head coach in the Hall of Fame.
Whatever they come up with, I’m fairly certain it will still probably involve providing some type of ‘award’ for teams who choose to hire minority candidates, or to retain them, and to provide compensation for teams who lose them as well.
Goodell said that they want to “try to make sure it does what we were originally intending, which is to reward teams and head coaches for developing minority coaches who can go on to be head coaches in this league. That’s the intent”, he went on. “It was a very positive reaction and one I believe will lead to an additional initiative that we’ll be able to implement”.
For opponents of this idea on principle, I’m sorry to inform you that you should prepare for disappointment, or annoyance, or whatever your reaction will be to its eventual passing in some form, because I do believe it’s a mere formality at this point that some type of resolution in this vein will be acted upon this offseason.