Precinct 333

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Dolphins To Interview Minority, Hire Saban

It is an absurd little ballet required by the NFL. Every team must interview a minority candidate for open coaching positions or face a fine. It doesn't matter that you know who you want to hire, that they are well-qualified, and they are ready, willing, and able to come to work for you -- you must interview a minority.

Enter the Miami Dolphins. The team has been a disaster this year, and lost head coach Dave Wannstedt earlier in the season. They have ben courting LSU head coach Nick Saban for some time now. There is nothing standing in the way of a deal that both sides want -- except for the absurd policy. Leading to this absurdity in the Houston Chronicle.
Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga and president Eddie Jones, an LSU graduate, flew to Baton Rouge on Tuesday to meet with Saban. He's expected to be offered a contract worth $4 million to $5 million a year with authority to shape football operations, which could lead to the departure of general manager Rick Spielman.

Jones has said the Dolphins will adhere to NFL hiring policy. Guidelines established in 2002 require teams to interview at least one minority candidate for coaching vacancies.

NFL Hall of Famer Harry Carson, representing a group that advocates more minority hirings in the league, said he complained Friday about the Dolphins' search process in a meeting with Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney, chairman of the league's diversity committee.

Carson said any interview with a minority candidate would now likely be viewed as a "courtesy interview ... because the Dolphins have already made up their mind."

Well, DUH!!!!!!!!! That is all the policy requires -- and is more than it should require. What do you want-- hiring quotas? They are hiring one of the best coaches in college football today. Why should they need to justify that to anyone, or meet some artificially imposed requirement? Wouldn't YOU be trying to hire Saban, given the chance? I know I would.

Under these circumstances, what self-respecting person, minority or not, would accept such an interview. None -- which is why former Raiders coach Art Shell and University of Miami defensive coordinator Randy Shannon will be the likely interview candidates. Followed immediately by the Saban hiring. Wonder what they get out of it?


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