The Oakland Raiders are being investigated for violating the Rooney Rule

Jon Gruden, Oakland Raiders head coach holds an Oakland Raiders jersey with his name as he stands between Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis and Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie Mc Kenzie, after being introduced as the new hea

The NFL launched an investigation into the Raiders' hiring process shortly after Gruden was announced as the team's new head coach.

The Fritz Pollard Alliance, which promotes diversity in National Football League coaching, front office and scouting jobs and whose chairman, John Wooten, initially said he believed the Raiders complied with the Rooney Rule, disagreed with the NFL's findings in a strongly-worded statement.

The Rooney Rule requires teams to interview at least one minority candidate as part of an open process.

The Raiders said they complied with the rule by interviewing Bobby Johnson, their tight ends coach, and Tee Martin, the offensive coordinator at USC. "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". While it is not questioned that these candidates were interviewed, the contention is that it had already been decided that Gruden was to be hired and that the minority candidates were only brought in to technically satisfy the Rooney Rule while violating its spirit.

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The Fritz Pollard Alliance said in a statement it "strongly" disagrees with the findings, citing three points of contention. Davis crossed the line, and we are disappointed in the League's decision.

The league determined Friday that Davis didn't come to an agreement with Gruden before interviewing Johnson and Martin, which means the Raiders won't face a hefty fine that likely would've been imposed had they violated the Rooney Rule.

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 sacked after a disappointing six-win season. In December 2016, the National Football League agreed to extend the rule to informally cover some coordinator positions, although without penalties for noncompliance in the case of coordinators. Oakland did not formally hire Gruden until January 6, though Davis said during Gruden's introductory press conference that they had significant discussions about the position around Christmas. Gruden will be quarterback Derek Carr's fourth head coach and fourth play caller in five career seasons. Former Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin, however, was apparently eager to get back to coaching for the 2018 season. He led the Buccaneers to the Super Bowl title over Oakland the following season.

If Sumlin would have taken the Raiders job, it would have marked his first time coaching in the NFL. In 2006, Shell was hired again as head coach. Davis' father, Al, was responsible for the other coaching and front office hires.

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