Kelly 'cool' with idea of playing UConn at Fenway
The Boston Globe reported that the Boston Red Sox were interested in hosting a game between Notre Dame and Connecticut in 2014. And Brian Kelly -- the kid born and raised in the Boston suburbs -- loves the idea.
"It'd be cool," he said. "I'd like to do it."
But Brian Kelly -- the head football coach at Notre Dame -- had some reservations. It was just a couple years ago that Northwestern and Illinois had to play a one-way football game -- both teams going toward the same end zone -- because Wrigley Field's brick wall stood just a couple of feet from the back of one end zone.
"I love Fenway Park, I just don't know if it's big enough," Kelly said. "We don't want to get into that Northwestern-Illinois thing where the end zone's not big enough. As long as they do the due diligence, and I know (athletic director Jack Swarbrick) is looking for great venues, and I don't think they've played a game there in a long time. If it's on the schedule, we're going to play it. Being a Boston guy, baseball hasn't been very good there, so maybe we'll bring some football."
But Swarbrick quickly killed the buzz with a statement released Tuesday afternoon.
"We have work to do on our future football schedules, given the announcement last week relative to our upcoming Atlantic Coast Conference relationship," Swarbrick said. "However, media reports today that we will play Connecticut in Fenway Park in 2014 are inaccurate."
Kelly cited the same potential roadblock earlier in the day. Notre Dame's new deal with the ACC will require the Irish to play five ACC teams every year beginning in 2014. Some storied rivalry games already could be cycled out of Notre Dame's schedule as a result, so adding a Big East time such as Connecticut might make things even more difficult.
That said, UConn coach Paul Pasqualoni liked the idea, too, telling reporters Tuesday that athletic director Warde Manuel was "working very hard" to make it happen.
"I know this, my kids would be excited," Pasqualoni said.
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