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Penn State Football: Is Bill O'Brien Right to Pursue Ireland Game?

STATE COLLEGE, PA - SEPTEMBER 15:  Head coach Bill O'Brien of the Penn State Nittany Lions walks off the field after defeating the Navy Midshipmen 34-7 at Beaver Stadium on September 15, 2012 in State College, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images
Colin TansitsContributor IMarch 10, 2013

As the sanctions on Penn State are in their second year and set to ban the Lions from another possible bowl game, head coach Bill O’Brien is looking for other options.

More specifically, O’Brien is looking overseas to Ireland.

Last week O’Brien confirmed reports that both he and Penn State are looking into playing a game in Ireland next season.

O’Brien said the team is “definitely” looking into an overseas game, and that the program is working with the Big Ten and trying to find an opponent willing to make the trip.

With the bowl ban though, a move like this can help the Lions offer players a once in a lifetime experience.

But is it right for O’Brien and Penn State to pursue a game in Ireland?

The answer is yes.

Although this move looks like a way to sidestep punishments placed on the program, it is far from it.

A game in Ireland would offer players and fans a special experience and opportunity to be seen internationally.

But the game wouldn’t offer the massive amounts of revenue and television exposure as a major bowl.

Remember these sanctions were allegedly supposed to be punishing the university and the program for the actions of people in years past, not the current staff and young men on the team.

A game in Ireland would be a great move for O’Brien and the Lions to make.

No game can substitute a bowl experience and the hardware on the line in a bowl game, but a game overseas can reward players and coaches with a special experience rather than a trophy and money for the university.

If the Lions can pull it off, it would be a great move for the university.

O’Brien is showing yet another reason why Penn State needs to do everything it can to keep him coaching in Happy Valley.

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