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Pac-12 urged by civil rights groups to enact Rooney Rule for minority coaching hires

Will there be more David Shaw success stories?

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Myron Metcalf of ESPN reports that advocate groups are pushing for an Oregon law to be adopted by the entire Pac-12 conference with regards to diversity hires.  It would be similar to the Rooney Rule, which forces NFL teams to interview at least one minority candidate before making their decision on who they want as their head coach. Commissioner Larry Scott has expressed approval for a Rooney Rule in college athletics.

Currently, Oregon and Oregon State are required to interview one minority hire for all head coaching vacancies at their programs. They are now pushing to go a step further and urging the Pac-12 to do the same for all of their programs. Here's more from the ESPN article:

Sam Sachs, a civil rights advocate and the driving force behind a 2009 law that mimics the rule and requires public universities in Oregon to interview a minority candidate for all head coaching vacancies, said he's talked to prominent organizations about expanding the Oregon statute throughout the Pac-12 and beyond through the passage of state laws or NCAA/conference policies. Oregon and Oregon State are currently subjected to the provision under state law.


Sachs would not reveal the details of the Pac-12 discussions or identify the specific groups involved but he said they're all influential and serious about moving forward.

Pac-12 football currently has only one minority head coach: David Shaw at Stanford, who has won two Pac-12 championships in the last three years. Pac-12 basketball is doing a little better on that front, with Lorenzo Romar at Washington, Cuonzo Martin at Cal and Johnny Dawkins at Stanford.