The Fritz Pollard Alliance, an organization whose mission is to champion diversity in the NFL, wants to take a closer look at the Indianapolis Colts‘ hiring of interim head coach Jeff Saturday.
The organization released a statement Thursday stating, “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.”
League spokesman Brian McCarthy told ESPN after Saturday was named to the position on Nov. 7 that interim head coach appointments are not subject to the Rooney Rule, which requires NFL teams to interview at least two minority candidates for head-coaching positions. McCarthy said the team would be required to conduct a search that is compliant with the Rooney Rule after the season when seeking to make a permanent hire.
It’s unclear what specific guidelines are in question. A message left for FPA director Rod Graves was not immediately returned.
Colts owner Jim Irsay, who in 2002 hired Tony Dungy — the first Black coach to win a Super Bowl — said after hiring Saturday, “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. This is for eight games and hopefully more.”
He later replied to a reporter’s question by saying, “There is no problem or perception, except some of you guys make it a problem or perception.”