The Best Seat In The House For All Your News On The 5 Time World Champion Niners

The Best Seat In The House For All Your News On The 5 Time World Champion Niners
A review and commentary on the history & lastest events surrounding the 17 time NFC Western Division & 5 -Time World Champion San Francisco 49ers. From 1946 and the All America Football Conference to 2009 and the road to a 6th Super Bowl title - For true fans of the scarlet and gold! Enjoy!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Singletary must wait to see if he'll stay with 49ers

By Matt Barrows, The Sac Bee

MIAMI – Mike Singletary has won on the road. He's beaten bad teams and teams with better records. And if he wins again today, he'll be 3 for 3 against AFC East teams with playoff aspirations. But while fans and players alike are rooting for Singletary to win the 49ers' coaching job for 2009 and beyond, they shouldn't expect an early Christmas present. That's because league rules prohibit interim coaches from signing long-term deals during the season. The earliest the 49ers could sign Singletary – who is in the final year of his contract – to a new contract is Dec. 29, the day after the season finale against Washington at Candlestick Park. Ironically, the NFL's Rooney Rule, which strives to create more head-coaching opportunities for minority candidates, prevents the 49ers from making an early deal. The Rooney Rule states teams searching for a new head coach must interview at least one minority candidate. If an interim coach were given a long-term deal during the season, so the thinking goes, that would circumvent the interview process.

That situation arose earlier this year when the league voided a contract for St. Louis interim coach Jim Haslett. Haslett's original deal included a clause that said that if he won six games after he took over, he would get the job outright for next season or be rewarded with a million-dollar payday. It was excellent motivation but, unfortunately, against the rules. But what of Singletary? Since he's African American, shouldn't his case be an exception? No, said league officials in New York who responded to queries about Singletary's situation by e-mailing excerpts of the Rooney Rule. According to the league, unless an assistant coach has a prior agreement to take over as head coach – as is the case in Seattle with defensive assistant Jim Mora – teams can't make a commitment to an assistant during the season that extends beyond the end of the club's playing season. League officials did say once the season ends, the 49ers would not be required to interview any other candidates.

The 49ers, meanwhile, seem content to live by the letter of the law and are in no rush to commit to a long-term deal. General manager Scot McCloughan declined a request to discuss Singletary's situation. Singletary also insists he is in no hurry. As his wins – and popularity – have mounted, he's tried to brush aside questions about his future in San Francisco. Singletary wants to avoid lobbying for his job and hopes his final record will do all the arguing for him.

"I'm really not auditioning," he said. "I'm really not trying to show anyone anything. I'm just working. I'm doing what I love to do, and that's all that I can do. After that (I) let the film speak."

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