It now looks certain that scandal-tarred Penn State will play University of Central Florida at Croke Park in Ireland in 2014.
The former team of the legendary coach Joe Paterno was engulfed in a major scandal after assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was convicted of numerous charges of child abuse and a massive cover-up was alleged.
New Penn State coach Bill O’Brien has confirmed that arrangements for the game are “very close.” Penn State which is banned from bowl games for three years is looking at the Ireland game as their equivalent of a bowl match-up.
The teams will also meet in September 2013.
Meanwhile representatives of the University of Central Florida returned from a trip to Dublin after meeting with Irish officials and inspecting Croke Park and the Aviva Stadium.
UCF is now “very optimistic” after a “very positive visit” to Ireland, one source said.
UCF coach George O’Leary and Penn State coach O’Brien are close friends and share an Irish American heritage. O’Leary briefly coached Notre Dame before being fired after accusations of falsifying his resume were made.
An official announcement about the game will not take place until a travel package has been put together
According to both sides, Croke Park is more likely to be the venue for the game.