CBS Sports is reporting that the National Football League may alter the Rooney Rule to incorporate more diversity within the NFL's coaching ranks. The Rooney Rule requires each team to interview at least one non-white candidate for every head and senior football operations opening.
League sources told reporter Jason La Canfora that various voting officials within the league would easily pass an expansion of the rule. The revision would place all coordinator and assistant-head coach positions under the same requirement.
The NFL has said it would look into the dearth of minority hires, especially after an off-season that included eight Caucasian coaches being hired for the eight open positions. Since 2007, there has been only one minority coach hired for another team's head coaching gig: Ron Rivera, who is now at the helm for the Carolina Panthers. Rivera was previously the defensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears.
Mike Tomlin, the coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, was the previous Rooney Rule hire, though Dan Rooney himself-the namesake of the rule-contends that Tomlin's hire shouldn't count under that distinction because Rooney had already interviewed the aforementioned Rivera for the Steelers' opening.
There are currently four minorities who are head coaches within the NFL: Tomlin, Rivera, Leslie Frazier (Minnesota Vikings) and Marvin Lewis (Cincinnati Bengals). Lewis is the longest-tenured of the bunch, having held the position since 2003. Frazier started his stint in 2010, while Rivera began in 2011. Rivera and Frazier both played for the 1985 NFL Champion Bears team that defeated the New England Patriots 46-10 in Super Bowl XX.