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Browns hires may have a connection to long-ago Akron
Like all NFL franchises today, Cleveland must interview minority candidates for senior jobs.

Tim Rudell
Team picture, first NFL Champions. Coach, and best player, Fritz Pollard (front row, right)
Courtesy of Fritz Pollard Alliance
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The ‘Akron Pros’ were the NFL’s first champions and their coach, Fritz Pollard, was the first African-American head coach in the NFL.  That was in 1920.  In 2016, his legacy could influence the Browns as they look for new leadership for their football program.  WKSU's Tim Rudell reports.

LISTEN: The Rooney Rule and the next coach of the Browns

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The ‘Fritz Pollard Alliance’ led by former NFL players is the group that got the NFL to require all teams to interview minority candidates for senior job vacancies. 

Rooney Rule 
They pushed for what is now called the ‘Rooney Rule’ after the Pittsburgh Steelers owner who headed the NFL committee that drafted it.

Alliance chairman
John Wooten is chair of the Alliances.  “We work every year with the NFL, with the commissioner and the group, We think of where the vacancies are going to be, and give them a slate of minorities who we feel warrant the opportunity to be interviewed and so forth. And that’s where the Ronney Rule comes into play.”

Following a leader
Wooten, who was a pro-bowl tackle for the Browns, says the Alliance named itself after Fritz Pollard to honor his contributions to the founding of NFL, and to serve as a demonstration of how minorities can be overlooked.

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