Time for a Hail Mary? With Bleak Prospects of Being Aided by a College Version of the NFL's Rooney Rule, Should Minority College Football Coaches Turn Their Attention to Title VII Litigation?
Michael J. Nichols
University of Connecticut - School of Law; Lesley University
Virginia Sports & Entertainment Law Journal, Vol. 8, pp. 147, 2008.
Over the past several years member teams of both the National Football League ("NFL") and the National Collegiate Athletic Association ("NCAA") have been criticized for employing too few head football coaches who are minorities. The problem has gained attention as non-whites now comprise a majority of the players at both levels of competition. In 2003, the NFL instituted a rule - the Rooney Rule - that is widely credited with significant improvements in the number of minority coaches employed within the professional league. Over the same period, the college head coaching ranks remain almost entirely devoid of non-white head coaches. This note analyzes whether the NCAA is in a position to emulate the Rooney Rule despite opposition from athletic directors, university presidents, conference commissioners, and others. The author further examines whether an over-looked minority job candidate could successfully sue a university for discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 - an avenue advocated by several of the interest groups responsible for convincing the NFL to adopt the Rooney Rule.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 30
Keywords: Title VII, discrimination, employment, disparate treatment, disparate impact, sport, sports, football, african-american
JEL Classification: K10, L83, J71, L82, M50
Date posted: October 28, 2008 ; Last revised: February 25, 2009