The Fritz Pollard Alliance, an organization dedicated to increasing diversity in the NFL, has launched an investigation into the Indianapolis Colts’ hiring of Jeff Saturday as interim head coach.
“In light of the recent interim head coaching hire in Indianapolis, the FPA has initiated an inquiry with the NFL into whether this hiring process conformed with NFL Hiring Guidelines for naming an interim Head Coach,” they said in a statement Thursday.
Interim head coach hires are not subject to the Rooney Rule, according to NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy. The Rooney Rule requires NFL teams to interview at least two minority candidates for head coaching positions. As a result, when the Colts look for a full-time head coach at the end of the season, they will have to follow the Rooney Rule.
It is unclear what specific guidelines the FPA is questioning.
“At the end of the season, there will be a full process of reviewing permanent head coach, which we will have an interview process for and go from there,” Colts owner Jim Irsay said, per ESPN. “This is for eight games and hopefully more.”
In 2002, Irsay hired Tony Dungy, who went on to become the first black head coach to win the Super Bowl when the Colts beat the Chicago Bears, 29-17, in 2007.
On Saturday, he won his first game as head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, defeating the Las Vegas Raiders and first-year head coach Josh McDaniels 25-20 on a Parris Campbell 35-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
He’ll try to make it two in a row when the Colts face the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday in Indianapolis. The Eagles lost their first game of the season on Monday night, falling to the Washington Commanders.