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Has the NFL's Rooney Rule Efforts “Leveled the Field” for African American Head Coach Candidates?


  • Janice Fanning Madden

    () (University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA)

  • Matthew Ruther

    (University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA)


Madden provides evidence that African American head coaches in the National Football League (NFL) significantly outperformed whites between 1990 and 2002. She concludes that this evidence is consistent with African Americans being required to be better to be hired as head coaches. In 2002, the NFL promulgated the Rooney Rule requiring that NFL teams make various affirmative efforts when hiring coaches. This article finds that the performance advantage of African American head coaches has been eliminated since the Rooney Rule but finds no similar time trends in racial differentials in performance for other NFL coaching positions.

Suggested Citation

  • Janice Fanning Madden & Matthew Ruther, 2011. "Has the NFL's Rooney Rule Efforts “Leveled the Field” for African American Head Coach Candidates?," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 12(2), pages 127-142, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:jospec:v:12:y:2011:i:2:p:127-142

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    Cited by:

    1. Brian Volz, 2013. "Race and the Likelihood of Managing in Major League Baseball," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 30-51, March.


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