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Poll: Does Paterno Scandal Signal End of Untouchable Coach?

Joe Paterno's unceremonious ouster at Penn State has sped up a growing trend in college and professional sports.

With Joe Paterno's almost 46-year career at Penn State brought to an abrupt end in a scandal last week, Paterno's species -- the untouchable coach -- appears to be dying out.

Paterno was the last coach in big-time football -- including the NFL -- with the clout to essentially tell his boss: "No, I do not accept your pink slip. Now, get out of my house."

Local examples of coaches who didn't have that ability abound.

Brian Billick coached the Baltimore Ravens for nine years, won Super Bowl XXXV and compiled an 85-67 record that included six winning seasons. But he was spiked after the 2007 season because he never got back to the big game.

Ralph Friedgen, the former University of Maryland football coach, was kicked to the curb after going 75-50 in 10 years, making seven bowl game appearances and being named the Atlantic Coast Conference's Coach of the Year for 2010.

The Washington Redskins are on their fifth coach in 10 years. The man wearing the headset these days, Mike Shanahan, wound up with the Redskins after he was booted from Denver despite 18 years, a .616 career winning percentage and two Super Bowl titles.

As John Feinstein wrote in The Washington Post, Paterno's firing "is another step toward the extinction of a breed of football and basketball coach that for years dominated college sports...the dynastic, iconic coach."

So, is that a good thing for sports? Vote below, and weigh in by leaving a comment.

CJ23 November 15, 2011 at 04:03 PM
Many normal people find the idea of an "institution" "embedding" itself in someone's life as very frightening.
tanisha November 15, 2011 at 04:10 PM
This was all about the millions of dollars the football program bought in and making sure the money kept coming. I agree with CJ23's comment.
Anna Lehr November 16, 2011 at 03:55 PM
Hello - have you heard about Coach K at Duke - a true inspiration to all the young people e comes into contact with!!!!
Peter Monaghan November 16, 2011 at 09:11 PM
This is a typical over-reaction and response. The coaching dynasty had very little to do with what happened. It was merely a detail. Jim Phelan coached at St. Mary's for what seemed like a 100 years with an umblemished record. John Wooden coached at UCLA and never cussed (unlike Coach K who can make a longshoreman blush), demanded high moral character and personal growth. Poor decision making caused this tragedy at Penn State, not a dynasty.
Phil N Val November 16, 2011 at 10:40 PM
I have to disagree with Peter. Because of the importance of maintaining the "dynasty" and the profit from it caused men and women(the judge in this case, who is associated with the charity, that allowed this pedophile to continue to roam free) to devaule the African-American boys that were molested. All for the sake of keeping the dynasty alive. The good ol boy network is still alive and well!

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