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NFL looking to expand "Rooney Rule'

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - NFL teams looking to hire general managers may soon be required to interview at least one minority candidate.

Commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday the league's owners discussed expanding the Rooney Rule - which already applies to coaching openings - during the final session of their two-day meetings in South Florida. No vote was taken, though Goodell indicated any changes could be made soon.

"It's a judgment I will make with the diversity committee," Goodell said.

The Rooney Rule is named for Steelers owner Dan Rooney, who was not at the meeting for a good reason: He's at what Goodell described as "ambassador school."

Rooney, a lifelong Republican, was picked by President Barack Obama earlier this year to be U.S. ambassador to Ireland.

"When he gets concluded with his tutoring, I will probably speak with him and we'll make a determination from there," Goodell said.

The Rooney Rule was born nearly seven years ago, when two lawyers threatened to sue the NFL if it didn't open up more opportunities for minorities. Rooney led a committee to develop a policy to stop what the league viewed as an embarrassing lack of diversity.

Expanding that policy to GMs isn't expected to meet much resistance.

"It's a good idea," Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said. "We certainly have it with the coaches and this would be expanding it to the general managers. From what I understand, we did follow that when we did hire Bill Parcells."

In other developments before the meetings closed Wednesday morning with a 21â "2 hour session:

· Seeking ways to generate new revenue streams, NFL clubs can now arrange to have their logos on cards sold by their respective state lotteries.

Delaware became the only state east of the Mississippi River to allow betting on sports after new legislation was signed last week. The NFL is strongly against betting on the outcome of games, but said the lottery move could generate significant money to be directed back to "many different public purposes," Goodell said.

In states where there are more than one NFL team, those clubs will be expected to negotiate how to proceed with the lottery.