Looking at all major sports, both college and professional, it is painfully obvious that there is an extreme dearth of African-American head coaches and managers. I don't think anyone disputes that. Furthermore, if you look closely at how long black coaches were at a particular school or pro team, you could argue that they are usually shown the door much quicker than their white counterparts (Tyrone Willingham at Notre Dame football and Tubby Smith at UK Basketball are just 2 examples).
Now, it is reported that the Seattle Seahawks are prepared to hire Pete Carroll out of USC (which is in the midst of several NCAA investigations and headed for a rebuilding phase) for $7 million/yr. But before they do that, they are trying to wrap up a quickie interview with Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier. That is because, according to NFL rules, teams in search of a coach must interview at least one minority candidate. The only exception is a designated coach-in-waiting, and even that has to be approved by the league.
I appreciate what the NFL is trying to do, and yes, there are more black coaches as a result of it and, sadly, it shouldn't have taken a written rule to get owners to do it. But if I were Frazier, honestly, I would have told Paul Allen to go jump in a lake, because it was painfully obvious that his interview was set up only to comply with the letter of the Rooney Rule, nothing more. Jerry Jones did the same thing when he hired Wade Phillips in 2007. He got around the rule by talking with Dennis Green on the phone. The only drama was whether it would be Phillips or Norv Turner becoming the next puppet coach of America's Team.
I don't think racism involved every time the situation comes up, but I do think that some teams simply go through the motions to satisfy some legalese when they know all along who they really want. As fans and observers, we're fooling ourselves if we think there isn't still a good ole boy network, and it would be easier to change a Republican's mind on health care than messing with that right now.
I'm a U.S. History teacher, and I'll use this example. I just taught a unit where we talked about Marcus Garvey, the African-American entrepreneur who formed the largest black organization (UNIA) in American history. During his travels (and as part of his effort to relocate some blacks to Africa), he met with several white supremacist leaders in the South and reportedly said to one of them, "I have more respect for you than the average white person because at least I know where you stand."
When it comes to the Rooney Rule, I agree with it 200% in principle, especially since the Rooney family took a gigantic lead in that department when they hired Mike Tomlin to coach the Steelers. You would like to think people could learn to be fair and not swayed by their own biases, whether racial or based on a coach's past accomplishments. But, unfortunately, in this country we are lacking severely in that department. After all, we still got idiots here in the South who think they won the war.
Wake up, people.