National Football League officially looking into possible Rooney Rule violation by Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers throws a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets Sunday Dec. 24 2017 in East Rutherford N.J

Jon Gruden offered Rich Gannon the chance to coach quarterbacks with the Oakland Raiders, but the former player declined.

The Oakland Raiders officially introduced Jon Gruden as the head coach of the Silver and Black Tuesday afternoon during a press conference at the team's Alameda, Calif., facility.

Gruden's hire provoked some suspicion nearly immediately upon being reported last week.

The investigation comes one day after the Fritz Pollard Alliance, which promotes diversity in NFL coaching and executive positions, asked the league to find out if the rule on minority interviews was violated when Oakland hired Jon Gruden as coach.

The NFL has sanctioned teams for Rooney Rule violations in the past, issuing a $200,000 fine against Detroit Lions general manager Matt Millen in 2003 following the appointment of head coach Steve Mariucci. This has led some to question whether owner Mark Davis took the minority candidates he interviewed seriously, or just went through the motions of the Rooney Rule.

On the field, Gruden will take over for Jack Del Rio after the latter was sacked following a 6-10 season.

Mark's late-father Al Davis made Tom Flores the first Latino head coach ever.

Both the league and the Fritz Pollard Alliance previously declared the Raiders to be in compliance with the rule based on their interviews of Bobby Johnson, their tight ends coach, and Tee Martin, the offensive coordinator at Southern California. "But if there is a closed process and those minority candidates were going through the motions and had no idea there was already an agreement, that is not fair to them and it is not fair to the next guy coming up through the ranks".

Gannon could not fully commit to Gruden, but the Raiders did immediately. Gruden has served as an ESPN commentator for Monday Night Football during the last nine years, although he previously coached the Raiders (1998-2001) and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2002-08), amassing a 95-81 record and winning a Super Bowl.

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