NFL: Raiders Complied with ‘Rooney Rule’ When Hiring Gruden

ALAMEDA (AP) — The NFL said Friday that the Oakland Raiders complied with the “Rooney Rule” when they hired Jon Gruden as head coach.

The league said a review found the Raiders conducted “bona fide” interviews with minority candidates during their search for a replacement for Jack Del Rio, who was fired after a disappointing six-win season. The “Rooney Rule” requires NFL teams to consider at least one minority candidate before making an offer to a head coaching candidate. The team officially hired Gruden on Jan. 6.

The Fritz Pollard Alliance, which had called for an investigation out of concern that Raiders owner Mark Davis came to an agreement with Gruden before the team interviewed any minority candidates, released a statement saying the NFL made the wrong call in not penalizing Davis.

“In his enthusiasm to hire Jon Gruden, Raiders’ owner Mark Davis failed to fulfill his obligation under the Rule and should step forward and acknowledge he violated the Rule,” the alliance statement said.

The Fritz Pollard Alliance is dedicated to promoting diversity and equality of job opportunity on the coaching, front office and scouting staffs of NFL teams.

Gruden is in his second stint as coach of the Raiders after being traded by Oakland to Tampa Bay following the 2001 season. He led the Buccaneers to the Super Bowl title over Oakland the following season. He has been out of coaching since being fired by Tampa Bay after the 2008 season.

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