Fritz Pollard Alliance Concerned By Texans’ GM Search

The Texans clearly wanted to hire Patriots executive Nick Caserio as their next GM, but they abandoned their pursuit shortly after New England filed tampering charges against them. Now, it seems that Houston will go through the 2019 season and the 2020 draft without a GM and renew its pursuit of Caserio after next year’s draft, when Caserio’s contract with the Pats expires.

However, after the Texans fired one-year GM Brian Gaine and before they stopped pursuing Caserio, they interviewed Ray Farmer and Martin Mayhew for the job. Both Farmer and Mayhew are minority candidates, but because the team chose not to fill the position after it could not land its first choice, the Fritz Pollard Alliance’s new executive director, Rod Graves, believes Houston may have violated the spirit of the Rooney Rule.

Graves said, via Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk, “[t]he fact that [the Texans] interviewed two outstanding candidates and chose not to make a decision after not being able to get their first choice, to me is a concern in the fact that it does circumvent the spirit of the Rooney Rule. And if there are other reasons why those candidates are not appealing, then we’d like to know how we can help to possibly bring others to the table. I think there are many others out there who are qualified and who deserve an opportunity to be interviewed.”

To call Mayhew and Farmer “outstanding candidates” is a bit of a stretch, as both men come with plenty of question marks given their spotty track record as general managers with the Lions and Browns, respectively (and in the case of Farmer, the track record is not spotty; it’s just one big spot). Caserio, meanwhile, is unproven, but he is well-regarded around the league and is seen as the type of young and progressive mind that clubs are targeting for their coaching staffs and front offices these days, so it makes sense that Houston would want to bring him aboard.

As such, the debate concerning the Rooney Rule rages on. Should a team be penalized for aggressively pursuing and hiring its top target if the top target isn’t a minority? In this case, should the Texans be compelled to hire a Plan B if they still have a legitimate chance to land their Plan A? The answer to both of those questions would seem to be “no,” but then again, it also doesn’t seem right to interview minority candidates when the interviewing team has no intention of hiring them.

If you have a resolution to this debate, feel free to leave it in the comments.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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32 comments on “Fritz Pollard Alliance Concerned By Texans’ GM Search

  1. goldenmisfit

    The idea of the rule is to interview my Nordie candidates says nothing about hiring them and this organization needs to get a life they love sticking their nose in every time a minority does not get the job.

  2. DarkSide830

    kinda silly. i get the idea of the rule, but making a team hire a certian candidate due to their race is unfair. heck, id the rule didnt exist, it probably wouldnt matter. there will likely be minority candidates that are not only considered, but actually hired as coaches. who knows, perhaps alleged events such as this cause more push back on the side of owners. the NFL has many great coaching minds that are minorities, they don’t need to force teams to consider such options.

    • ChiSoxCity

      There’s a reason why the rule was established. Statistically, blacks and other “minority” Americans were never considered (interviewed) for front office jobs. Historically, professional sports in North America has never been a free and open market. Things have improved dramatically for athletes, not so much for head coaching or executive positions. Ownership status is still an exclusive club too.

      • jb19

        Meyhew and Farmer aren’t qualified to be GMs. They happen to be to be black…. are there other black candidates? Of course, but the Texans clearly want Caserio.

        • ChiSoxCity

          Who said they weren’t qualified? Every hire involves taking a risk on someone. Funny how blacks need to walk on water and exceed all expectations to get interviews. The NFL, like many organizations in numerous industries, created this problem for themselves by “black-balling” people of color and women from every job above janitor for decades.

          • daman2032

            The jobs they did with the lions and browns prove they are totally unqualified to hold such a position again.

  3. JJB0811

    Its sad that the only ‘minority’ is a black person. Where’s the outrage for women, Hispanics, Asians et al not getting interviews?

    • kylegocougs

      I think, in this case, it’s because the NFL has been predominantly played by African Americans but coached and managed by White people. There would be some problems in your field if higher numbers of Asians and women were involved with the sport in its most visible capacities. Though I’m sure there are some LatinX, women, or Asians who’ve been worthy candidates after jobs in marketing, management, etc in the NFL who never got their chance at the actual football operations side.

  4. Leemitt

    Is there any data telling us that people have been hired as a result of the rule? We seem to hear too many stories like this that question the rule’s effectiveness.

    • kylegocougs

      Maybe Farmer or Mayhew would’ve NEVER got their first chance without the rule… ever thought about that?

    • Polish Hammer

      Mike Tomlin.

      And then they’re people that get upset because they were used as the “token” interview to satisfy the rule with no intent to be hired but every time a vacancy popped up they’d get that call.

  5. Tankittothelimit

    I don’t like the rule at all. We all know who the Rooney rule applicants are (at least most of the time I’d guess), and the whole charade just seems condescending to those interviewees.
    I was also taught best man, woman or beast for the job, but that seems less and less important these days.

    • kylegocougs

      ‘Best man/woman for the job’ is a common sentiment, but that’s never been the case in America.

    • ChiSoxCity

      The problem with the “best person” concept is white guys won’t support a color-blind workplace in practice. They don’t hire or even groom non-white people or women for positions of leadership. Even white men who perform poorly in exec positions are repeatedly considered for similar positions elsewhere before non-whites or women. The statistics show this to be true.

      • burrdeuces

        You keep referencing statistics but never offer anything more than your own incredibly bold acquisitions. Keep digging, friend.

  6. snotrocket

    There are only 32 of these jobs in the whole world. You gotta figure most of the teams know who they want to hire before they fire the outgoing GM. I’d imagine most of the interviews are just a charade, regardless of the color of the candidates skin.

  7. forwhomjoshbelltolls

    The only openly racist rule in sports (aside from the other league’s versions of the same rule).

    Also, a pointless rule.

    If the owner (and/or GM) isn’t racist, then the rule is not needed. If they are racist, then the rule will not work.

  8. crosseyedlemon

    Why don’t we clone Hue Jackson several hundred times so every front office and coaching position can be held by someone who can make the Fritz Pollard Alliance happy?

    • kenleyfornia2

      The Alliance recommended him in their yearly coaching canidates list. Really shows how they dont care about skill, just the color of your skin.

  9. jorge78

    They’ve been violating the spirit of this rule from the beginning.
    It reminds me of the state of tx rule where you had to interview ten candidates no matter what.
    The boss had obviously already picked his man so nine other decent candidates had their time wasted. Over and over…..

  10. Batter Up

    A team should not be forced to hire someone they don’t want. It doesn’t matter what race or religion the person is if the team wants to hire him, they should hire him.

  11. kevin

    the rule is bs . all it does is force them to interview even when they already know who they want . I mean it’s not like they have to interview a while person before hiring a minority candidate. I mean no reason to force them to interview as all it does is waste both sides time . u can not force them to hire who they do not feel is right for the job regardless of color. the rules always been a rule that needs to go as it’s not needed now . in this event the Texans knew they wanted 1 person and didn’t land em so y would they be forced to hire their second or third choice just cuz of color it’s really dumb.

  12. Rich

    There are tremendous amount of poor preforming people at all levels of coaching and GM, of different races. Maybe its time to stop rotating these folks around while hoping for a different result.

  13. Ironman_4life

    Im sick of everything being about race or political. Everyone needs to just grow up and quit crying like babies.

  14. Itrainsontuesday

    I wonder how many candidates who were interviewed solely because of the Rooney rule actually were hired. Meaning they were brought in strictly because they were a minority but then had an excellent interview and leapfrogged a team’s original top choice.

  15. Roll

    Hire Willy from the corner give him min wage and tell him he has no authority and doesnt even need to show up for it and the problem is solved.

    You have now satisfied the rooney rule and beyond. This will spit in the face of the rule and now considered a hero because you have hired a minority in the alliance’s eyes.

    Yes this is a bit of a troll but just points out how the rule could be abused but still satisfy the rule. Think of the TE coach that interviewed for Gruden’s job. If you already know who you are hiring you are just wasting everyones time and money for the “token” interviews.

  16. m0r0c0

    We are talking about billion dollar businesses. Owners will hire who they think can run the program the way the owners think they want it run. I think Rooney is an insult to all involved when candidates know that they are being interviewed without a reasonable chance to get the job. I think the best way to gain diversity at senior coaching and management positions is to help minorities get in at the lower levels and then provide mentoring and any other support they need to gain the skills to be able to succeed at the highest levels in the NFL. Nothing will be fixed overnight. Like each of us, our society is maturing every year.

  17. The dude

    It’s simple the rule is no longer needed and the Texans keep a minority GM several years longer than he should of been. He was the Texans first choice when he was hired over 10 years ago.. if you work hard and earn it race doesn’t matter in America now and it’s just ridiculous to keep beating that drum

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