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New Policy In Effect to Increase Number of Minority Head College Football Coaches

A new minority-interviewing rule, similar to the “Rooney Rule” currently used in the National Football League, is being implemented at all Division I-A football programs, in hopes of boosting the number of minority head coaches.

 The policy states that any team with a head coaching vacancy must interview at least one minority candidate for the position. It also instructs each program to have a list of possible minority candidates at all times, even when there is no vacancy within the organization. Athletic directors at the 120 Division I-A schools were sent the new policy by the Division I-A Athletic Directors’ Association last month.


The new policy, however, does not specify penalties for programs that don’t meet the terms of the new guideline. The lack of penalties for noncompliance differs from the NFL’s minority-hiring rule known as the “Rooney Rule,” which was named after the chairman of the league’s workplace diversity committee and Pittsburgh Steelers owner, Dan Rooney. Although there is no penalty for noncompliance, advocates consider the rule to be a step forward in gaining equity on NCAA sidelines.

“The thing I’m happy about is: for the first time, to my knowledge, the athletic directors have taken ownership of the issue,” Floyd A. Keith, executive director of the Indianapolis-based Black Coaches & Administrators, told The Washington Post. “That’s the first time that’s been done. Let’s see how this pans out.”


Noticeable progress has already been made in the number of minority candidates who have been interviewed during the last hiring cycle, according to Dutch Baughman, executive director of the Division I-A Athletic Directors’ Association. “Of the 17 or 18 searches we just had, most involved one or more interviews” with minority candidates, Baughman said in an article in The Washington Post.

There are currently eight minority Division I-A head coaches.

–Sarah Lake

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