Many Oakland Raiders’ players and fans alike were excited when Jon Gruden was announced as the team’s new coach on Tuesday. The only problem now is, the hire may have violated league policy.
On Thursday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the NFL is issuing an investigation into if the Raiders violated the Rooney Rule when hiring Gruden.
NFL officially now looking into Raiders’ head coach hiring process and whether they violated the Rooney Rule, per league official.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 11, 2018
The Rooney Rule is a NFL policy that was established in 2003, making it mandatory for NFL teams to interview at least one minority candidate before making their decision on who to hire. NFL Networks’ Ian Rapoport reported that the Raiders satisfied these requirements by interviewing USC’s Tee Martin and former tight ends coach Bobby Johnson, but the question lies in if the decision to hire Gruden was already made prior.
The Fritz Pollard Alliance, a foundation that works with the NFL to promote a more diverse and inclusive culture around football, were first to ask the league to initiate the investigation, according to the Boston Globe.
Raiders’ owner Mark Davis reportedly has wanted Gruden as head coach ever since his father, Al Davis, passed away and handed over ownership responsibilities six years ago. A proper investigation will determine just how bad Davis wanted Gruden over anyone else.