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.