Following the Colts’ recent decision to suddenly name Jeff Saturday as their interim head coach, the Fritz Pollard Alliance released a statement questioning the organization’s hiring process.
“In light of the recent interim head coaching hire in Indianapolis, the FPA has initiated an inquiry with the NFL into whether this hiring process conformed with NFL Hiring Guidelines for naming an interim Head Coach,” the FPA said in a statement (via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport on Twitter).
The NFL has said that the Rooney Rule, a policy requiring teams to interview ethnic-minority candidates for head coaching positions, does not apply to interim HC gigs. Fritz Pollard Alliance executive director Rod Graves told NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero that the Rooney Rule should apply to interim hirings, and this latest statement “effectively formalizes the push for that change” (Twitter link).
League spokesperson Brian McCarthy told ESPN’s Stephen Holder that the Colts would be required to conduct a HC search that complies with the Rooney Rule following the season, at which time the organization will presumably be seeking a full-time coach. Colts owner Jim Irsay also indicated as much following the announcement of Saturday’s hiring.
“At the end of the season, there will be a full process of reviewing permanent head coach, which we will have an interview process for and go from there,” Irsay said (via Holder). “This is for eight games and hopefully more.”