PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A new study shows that there is a racial bias in the promotion of position coaches in the National Football League.

According to Phys.org, a study released by faculty at the George Washington University and three other academic institutions found that white position coaches are more than twice as likely to be promoted to coordinator than their minority peers.

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The study found that this was true regardless of age, experience or career performance.

Minority position coaches have a harder time reaching the head coach level, due to their less likelihood to be promoted to coordinator. Researchers found that 70 percent of head coach hirings involved a promotion from a coordinator position.

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“It’s not necessarily a requirement [to be a coordinator first] ,” said Chris Rider, Assistant Professor of Strategy at Georgetown, and one of the co-authors of the study. “However, it is the most common stepping stone. If you don’t get that coordinator experience your chances of becoming a head coach are drastically reduced.”

Rider said the researchers were careful to take experience in the NFL, experience in college, age and performance of the team into consideration when conducting the study.

“Even when we take two guys who are in the same position and performing equally well, we see this racial advantage,” he explained.

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Position coach hiring is not covered by the NFL’s Rooney Rule, which requires teams to interview minority candidates for head coaching and senior football operation jobs.