NFL Minority Hiring Policy

E-mail this post

Remember me (?)

All personal information that you provide here will be governed by the Privacy Policy of Blogger.com. More...

Just in case someone out there somewhere still harbored the illusion that the NFL's Minority Hiring Policy accomplishes anything remotely constructive, we have in evidence the Miami Dolphins' coaching search to put it to rest.

Here's how it breaks down: Miami has a head coach vacancy. They are hot for Nick Sabin. So hot they are offering him the $$ and control that he wants. Sabin, by all indications, is interested in the job. Sounds like a match made in heaven, right?

Well, it probably is, but unfortunately, despite the mutual desire, the whole thing is on hold right now. You see, according to the NFL's Minority Hiring policy, the Dolphins have to interview a minority candidate before they can hire Sabin.

That is exactly the situation. It's not that they have to interview a minority candiate before they can make a decision. The decision has been made. In this case, as in the Lions / Steve Mariucci case last season, the Dolphins will need to persuade a minority candidate to sit for an interview for a job he knows he won't get.

The point is, affirmative action NFL-style doesn't work any better than in the real world. Instead of improving opportunities for minority coaches it embarrasses them (at least I'd be embarrased) with token interviews.

Defenders of the policy claim that even when the minority candidate doesn't get the job, they benefit from having access to the NFL's top decision-makers. If that's the case, how come the Lions couldn't get anyone to come in for an interview?!

NFL owners have millions and millions of dollars riding on their personnel. There probably have been and will be cases where in reality, there won't be $2 difference between the results realized from hiring a minority vs. a non-minority coach. The owners' perception however, has to be that hiring a head coach is a critical, multi-million dollar decision. They aren't going to be goaded into hiring a coach they don't want, and a $200K fine like that levied on the Lions' Matt Millen, while nothing to sneeze at, isn't going to change things.

Whomever Wayne Huizenga persuades to sit for an interview is not going to get the Miami job. Not because he's a minority but because he's not Nick Sabin! I really don't believe there are very many owners in the NFL who are dead set against hiring a minority. Again, it's a competitive business. They want a winner, period, and if they thought a troll could get them to the Super Bowl, they'd hire a troll.

Right now, there are a handful of coaches for whom most NFL owners would pay any price. Unfortunately, right now, all of those coaches are white. Chalk it up to past inequities or whatever. It is the way it is. The tide will turn. Right now there are number of black coaches on the rise, compiling resumes of success.

That is the bottom line. Success. No coach got to where he is today without a track record of success all the way through the coaching pipeline. These days there are more minorities in that pipeline, and this will eventually, but slowly, translate into more minority head coaches.

And when you force a minority coach into a situation for which he isn't ready, you deal a setback to your own movement. Tyrone Willingham didn't fail at Notre Dame because he's a minority. He failed because it would be tough for any coach to make the jump from a bit of success at Stanford to the pressure cooker that is Irish Football. Still, Willingham has that on his record and now, when he does mature to Notre Dame caliber coach it will be tougher for him to land a blue chip job.

Note to all the affirmative action enthusiasts out there: You can't fix problems which were years, decades or even centuries in the making, overnight. You can't fix them with a policy. You can't fix them by blindly and ineffectively throwing money at the situation. You must rightly take down the barriers and let the opportunities come. For minorities and non-minorities alike, success begets success.


About me

Previous posts




ATOM 0.3
  • Creative Commons License
    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs2.5 License.