Seahawks, in Compliance with Rooney Rule, Contacted Tony Dungy

Zack NallyCorrespondent IJanuary 11, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS - JANUARY 12: Tony Dungy, head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, speaks to the media at the Indianapolis Colts Complex on January 12, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  Dungy retires after seven years with the Colts.  (Photo by Ron Hoskins/Getty Images)
Ron Hoskins/Getty Images

The Seattle Seahawks have taken a lot of criticism of late, facing claims that their quick hiring of Pete Carroll was outside the lines of the Rooney Rule.

It's now come to light, though, that the Seattle organization reached out to Tony Dungy almost a month ago in regards to a position as their team president. Dungy considered the offer, but ultimately turned it down.

John Wooten, chairman of the Fritz Pollard Alliance responsible for monitoring the minority hiring process in the NFL, spoke of the offer, "They called Tony about three weeks ago to see if he would seriously consider becoming their president...He told them he wanted to pray and sleep on it but the next day he called them back and said he wanted to stick with everything he was doing now."

Although the team had made a conscious effort to hire a minority in a front office position, Wooten still encouraged the 'Hawks to actively, or at least publicly, pursue Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier for the head coach position in order to further comply with the Alliance's guidelines.

Frazier was a candidate largely recommended and supported by Tony Dungy. 

Wooten also urged the team to digress from naming Carroll the new team president as that would put him in a biased position in the hiring of any other coaches, namely Frazier. It isn't clear whether or not the team would have allowed Carroll to carry out both positions but it's been done before.

Carroll is still considered to have much of the control within the organization, but the team will still make an active search for a new team president and GM while staying within the boundaries of the Rule. 

For now, the Seahawks are seriously looking at two minority candidates, the New York Giants director of college scouting Marc Ross for the GM position and Pittsburgh Steelers business and football administration coordinator Omar Khan as a candidate for team president. 

It's clear now that Seattle's alleged pursuit of Frazier was merely to save face in the public eye, and why their pursuit of Dungy remained under the grid is unclear, but it seems now that the Seahawks have followed the Rule closer than previously assumed.

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