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NFL changes Rooney rule interview minimum, coordinator rule, tables draft pick compensation proposal

The NFL has tabled plans for a big change to the Rooney Rule. We break down the latest news.

General view of action on the field as seen from the lower level concourse during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 29, 2020 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

UPDATE: The NFL has voted to approve the proposal related to granting interview requests for coordinator jobs, per Jim Trotter. Teams can no longer block an assistant coach from interviewing for a coordinator job. Additionally, it prevents teams from blocking personnel people from interviewing for an assistant general manager position, as was previously allowed.

The NFL has made one change to the Rooney Rule, but tabled another change that would have been a significant alteration. The league will now require clubs interview at least two external minority candidates for head coaching openings and at least one minority candidate for any coordinator job, per NFL Network.

The owners elected to table the resolution that would have incentivized hiring minority coaches and general managers with draft pick compensation, per Jim Trotter. Judy Battista noted that tabling the proposal instead of voting it down likely means owners didn’t think there was enough support for it, but want to make some changes to the proposal, rather than let it fail.

The proposal offered slight bumps in a team’s third round pick for hiring minority coaches and general managers, and offered compensation to teams that lost a minority coach or executive to another team.

While it was a change in light of criticisms of the Rooney Rule’s effectiveness, there were extensive criticisms of the proposal. While it was a change, it did not appear to be a truly significant incentive for owners that might have their eye already on somebody. Even with the Rooney Rule requiring at least one interview, teams had regularly gamed the system, making a mockery of the notion of improving diversity in leadership positions.