Diversity group believes Redskins GM search violated tampering rules

3:19 | NFL
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Wednesday January 7th, 2015

The Fritz Pollard Alliance, the diversity group that works with the NFL on minority hires, sent the league a complaint over the Washington Redskins handling of its general manager search, according to The Washington Post.

Washington has reportedly reached a deal to hire former 49ers GM Scot McCloughan. Bruce Allen, who also serves as the team's president, held the position for the last five seasons.

The alliance's chairman, John Wooten, says the team did not inform the NFL before interviewing New York Jets executive Rod Graves on Monday. Teams are required to interview at least one minority candidate for all GM or GM-like positions (the "Rooney Rule"), and must formally request permission from that person’s current team and notify the NFL office of the interview.

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Wooten says that Washington got permission from the Jets to interview Graves, an African American, but did not notify the league. The alliance feels this was intentional on the part of Washington and not simply an oversight.

"We feel it violates the tampering rules and it was part of them trying to get around the Rooney Rule. I don’t think it violated the letter of the [Rooney] rule. It violated the spirit of the rule," Wooten said. "Rod Graves is top shelf. But it seems like they were just trying to satisfy the rule so they could hire Scot McCloughan. That’s why we have the requests filed with the league, so we can monitor the process."

If found guilty of violating tampering rules, Washington could potentially face penalties from the NFL.

- Molly Geary


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