Monday, November 28, 2005

$200,000 Well Spent By Matt Millen

You may recall how, in July 2003, Detroit Lions president Matt Millen was fined $200,000 for failing to interview minority candidates when hiring a new head coach.

"While certain of the difficulties that you encountered in seeking to schedule interviews with minority candidates were beyond your control, you did not take sufficient steps to satisfy the commitment that you had made."--Commissioner Tagliabue.

It sent the message that this "conduct detrimental" to the NFL would not be tolerated. It was clear then that the Lions really wanted to go after Steve Mariucci, who was fired this afternoon. So the question now is what direction the team will go in.

John Romano, of the St. Petersburg Times, wondered what everyone did then:

"Millen attempted to comply with the rules but was penalized, essentially, for being too honest. He could have misled candidates by claiming to have no preconceived notions but was up front about his interest in Mariucci. He could have found an unqualified minority candidate to use as a charade interview, but he declined to make a mockery of this serious issue."

You have to wonder what happens this time around. Chances are, with this still fresh in Millen's head, he hires a minority for the position.



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