General manager Reggie McKenzie said two minority candidates were interviewed for the position, but the timing of the hire has raised questions.
The Raiders last weekend announced they had agreed to terms with Gruden on a contract to become their head coach for a second time.
Gruden’s deal is for $100 million over 10 years.
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News of the franchise’s pursuit of Gruden broke before the team had even fired Jack Del Rio and raised questions as to whether the Raiders had complied with the Rooney Rule, which requires an organization to hold a meaningful interview with at least one minority candidate when considering a head coach.
The league said through a spokesman last week that the Raiders has complied with the rule, but couldn’t provide details of who or when the supposed interview took place. General manager Reggie McKenzie said Tuesday at Gruden’s introductory news conference two minority candidates, Raiders tight end coach Bobby Johnson and University of Southern California offensive coordinator Tee Martin, were interviewed.
Raiders owner Mark Davis told reporters at the same news conference he and Gruden reached an agreement on Christmas Eve and that he then fired Del Rio, after which the interviews were conducted to satisfy the Rooney Rule.
The Fritz Pollard Alliance, the organization that helps the league with the selection of minority candidates, on Wednesday called for an investigation of the Raiders and expressed concern that the team hadn’t legitimately considered any minority candidates before reaching an agreement with Gruden.
The Detroit Lions received a $200,000 fine in 2003 for violating the Rooney Rule during their hiring of Steve Mariucci. Then-commissioner Paul Tagliabue informed teams the punishment for violations would increase to $500,000 going forward.
Follow Mike Jones on Twitter @ByMikeJones.
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