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.

Fred Dickson November 14, 2011 at 09:26 PM
Coach Paterno moved thousands of boys to be men through his tenure at Penn State these men are changing the world of business & politics by his ethics and standards he set during those years. He should have went out with Parades and special dinners in his honor. Instead his great good memories are only in those people he reflected on over those years. A long time in a coach coaching is probably over for all programs are running on what have you done for me lately DAILY. players had trust and stability to playing ball at Penn State all is shattered GOD bless JOE for he will die soon of a broken heart for his school & players YOU DID WELL JOE GOD REST YOUR SOUL SOMEtimes we cannot do it all/ you did the protocol and advised the athletic director you are not the police the school failed in keeping the predator out If you knew and failed to act correctly then the final play is still ahead THANKS FOR YOU LOVE TO THE GRADUATES & PLAYERS FOREVER LETS REMEMBER THE GOOD TIMES AND YOUR LOVE FOR THE GAME AMEN
LRD November 15, 2011 at 01:02 PM
Uh, Paterno covered up for his assistant coach who raped little boys. You're ok with that?
Jennifer P. November 15, 2011 at 08:52 PM
This is an incredibly sad time for the Penn State community. A man that we had so much respect for, that meant so much to us, was a source of pride, a man that we never thought would ever be involved in something like this, ended up in this horrific scandal along with others that all bear guilt in one way or another. Yes, he should have done more (along with all others involved) and I am not trying to defend his actions. What frustrates me is that he was quickly fired (not saying that it didn't need to happen at some point) while others were only placed on administrative leave - they should have been let go already as well. Instead the media primarily focusing on Joe, I wish more attention was focused on seeing that all others involved receive equal consequences and ensuring that Sandusky spends the rest of his life behind bars. As a Penn State Alum who has been so proud of her school over the years (and not just in football - we are so much more than that), I only hope the future reveals more answers, finds justice for the victims, and ensures that nothing like this ever happens again at Penn State or any other school or university.
Nonlinear November 16, 2011 at 03:25 AM
The coaches are not dying out, political correctness is sliding through the birth canal at every possible entry. Instead of deal with Paterno as the case winds through the system, dying a natural death, it is snuffed out, "they" hope by firing him. Now it's worse, I think. As far as the other coaches listed, it seems they were not untouchable and were protected by the very system in which they worked, besides Friedgen, and he'll just go into retirement at 65.


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