The Rooney Rule has been a part of the NFL for eight years now and has been fairly effective.  Now the discussion turns to what the future holds.  There are many different ideas and directions the rule can go.  Many people say that, for now, the rule should remain unchanged.  Others argue that the rule needs to become stricter so that teams don’t take it as a joke anymore.  Another option would be to expand the rule to higher position such as the NFL owners.  However, the best solution would be to end the existence of the rule.

Ultimately, what is at stake here are the lives of many potential head coaches in the NFL.  The rule is achieving its set goal and should continue to be enforced.  However, as soon as the rule has increased the diversity to a respectable level it needs to be discontinued.  This is important because the NFL needs to protect the integrity of the league and  not begin discriminating against the majority.

Remain Unchanged

Roger Goodell is the NFL Commissioner

This rule is accomplishing the task it was made to do and that was to increase the diversity of the head coaching job.  Roger Goodell, the NFL Commissioner, feels that the Rooney Rule has been terrific for the NFL and they will continue to enforce the rule ‘aggressively’.  So it appears that the immediate future of the rule is that it will remain unchanged.  However, the rule is not being enforced aggressively.

The biggest problem facing this solution is the fact that many teams are beginning to take advantage of the rule.  A loophole has been found and it is being exploited.  It almost seems as though the rule has become a game in which the owners are just trying to find new and creative ways to circumvent the rule.

Increase Strictness

One way to fix the problem of teams not taking the rule seriously is to increase the strictness.  The rule doesn’t seem to have horrible consequences or even any consequences to keep NFL teams in line.  Teams need to begin to recognize the implications of their behaviors.  It is unacceptable for owners to blow off any rule as if it didn’t matter or carry any weight in the decisions they make.

Increasing the strictness of the rule is not an easy thing to do.  One possible way would be to force teams to hire coaches that are minorities.  However, this is completely unethical.  Another possible scenario would be to create consequences that would force teams to comply with the rule.  The problem with this solution is that it’s hard to tell when a team interviews a candidate full heartedly or just to satisfy the rule.

William Clay Ford is the current owner of the Detroit Lions

Expand to Other Positions

The rule has been fairly effective in diversifying the head coaching position and so many people believe that it should be expanded to other positions.  Scott Brown agrees with this assessment and adds that it should expand to include general managers.  If the rule was also applied to the front office than soon the entire league could be more diversified.

End Existence

Eliminated the rule is yet another option.  According to Brian Collins, “Without a discernable end, the Rule seriously flirts with impermissibility.” In making this comment, Brian Collins is saying that the rule needs to eventually be done away with.  If it stays too long than it will soon be seen as an aid that many minorities would be taking advantage of when they don’t need it such as how affirmative action has gone.

This by far is the best solution.  I believe that team owners have become aware of their bias and are able to account for it.  Many minority coaches have been very successful in the NFL.  The name of the game in the NFL is winning and if owners now realize that they can win with a minority coach, then they won’t hesitate to hire them.

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