Dolphins Hiring Steps For GM Draw Fire

By Alex Marvez
Updated: June 10, 2005


Fritz Pollard Alliance spokesman John Wooten said Thursday that the Dolphins violated guidelines issued by the NFL last December.

Fritz Pollard Alliance spokesman John Wooten said Thursday that the Dolphins violated guidelines issued by the NFL last December

MIAMI — The Dolphins are seemingly caught in the crossfire in a dispute between the Fritz Pollard Alliance and the NFL regarding the franchise’s hiring of general manager Randy Mueller.

The alliance, which is an advocacy group pushing for more head coaching and front-office opportunities for minorities, is unhappy the Dolphins hired Mueller on Monday without interviewing any other candidates in the 72 hours after Rick Spielman resigned the post.

Alliance spokesman John Wooten said Thursday that the Dolphins violated guidelines issued by the NFL last December urging franchises interview at least one minority or female candidate for any open front-office positions.

But it appears the Dolphins satisfied the league with how they handled the hiring. The Dolphins cited the fact they interviewed two minority candidates (Jerry Reese and Paul Warfield) in January 2004 for the general manager position that ultimately went to Spielman.

“We are supportive of the league guidelines and have always been in compliance,” Dolphins Chief Executive Officer Joe Bailey said in a team-released statement.

Wooten said the alliance submitted a list of three potential minority interview candidates — Charlie Bailey (Jacksonville), Vince Newsome (Baltimore) and Tony Softli (Carolina) — to Dolphins coach Nick Saban when it appeared Spielman was on his way out.

Wooten said Saban, who wasn’t with the Dolphins when the previous general manager interviews were conducted, didn’t return the alliance’s calls or try arranging to speak with Bailey, Newsome or Softli.

“To tell you the truth, they simply don’t care,” Wooten said.

The Dolphins, though, aren’t believed to have considered Bailey, Newsome or Softli legitimate candidates for the job because all three currently hold middle-tier positions with their respective franchises.

The resumes of Bailey, Newsome and Softli also are believed to have gotten reviewed when the Dolphins were finalizing their interview list in January 2004. The Dolphins did interview Mueller, who was New Orleans’ general manager in 2000 and 2001, at that time.

Wooten said the Dolphins will be specifically cited in a letter the Fritz Pollard Alliance is sending to the NFL.