The Fritz-Pollard Alliance, through counsel Cyrus Mehri and N. Jeremi Duru, told Steve Wyche of the NFL Network it requested the NFL "thoroughly investigate" the Raiders hiring process after hearing Davis' statements. The Raiders hired two African-Americans to their staff on Thursday in defensive backs coach Derrick Ansley (former Alabama Crimson Tide defensive backs coach) and running backs coach Jemal Singleton (former Indianapolis Colts running backs coach). In a way, it led to a bogged down offense under former head coach Jack Del Rio.
The Fritz Pollard Alliance called for the investigation on Wednesday out of concern that Raiders owner Mark Davis came to an agreement with Gruden before the team interviewed any minority candidates as required by the National Football League since 2003. If the Raiders are found to have violated the Rooney Rule, team executives could be fined, as Detroit Lions general manager Matt Millen was in 2003 under similar circumstances.
At the press conference announcing his hiring, Gruden said he had filled all three coordinator positions with Greg Olson (offense), Paul Guenther (defense) and Rich Bisaccia (special teams). Prior to Gruden's official hiring, the Fritz Pollard Alliance initially believed the Raiders were in compliance with the Rooney Rule. This came after Davis hounded the then-ESPN analyst for six years, meeting with him several times over that span.
But here's the catch: Davis admitted to reporters Tuesday that he met with Gruden on Christmas Eve, where the two agreed in principle to a deal. Oakland appeared to fulfill the mandate by interviewing its tight ends coach, Bobby Johnson, and USC offensive coordinator Tee Martin.
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While the Raiders have been criticized for turning the Rooney Rule into a farce, you have to wonder about the NFL's motivation here too.
"I would trust the judgment and integrity of Mark Davis and Reggie McKenzie to the point that they have already spoken to minority candidates who could be available veteran coaches, just like Jon Gruden is a veteran ex-coach", Wooten said.
The Rooney Rule requires teams to interview at least one minority candidate as part of an open process.