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As Paterno Exits, Rumors Name Urban Meyer As Penn State Successor

Could former Florida football coach Urban Meyer be the next head coach at Penn State?

That question has been on peoples' minds since January, when Meyer appeared on national television with Joe Paterno, who was fired as Penn State's football coach Wednesday, in the fallout of a child sexual abuse scandal centered around a former assistant coach.

On that occasion, both coaches went out of their way to praise one another — despite the fact that their teams were about to face off in the Outback Bowl. And it led many to conclude that it was just a matter of time before Paterno, 84, handed the reins to Meyer. After all, there was only one year left in Paterno's three-year contract. And at the time, Meyer pointedly avoided discussing where he'd be in 2012.

But now the school's board of trustees have fired Paterno, replacing him with interim head coach Tom Bradley. And fresh rumors have added to the speculation that Meyer could be the next coach of the Nittany Lions.

Monday, State College radio station WKPS, a.k.a. The Lion, tweeted, "Sources tell WKPS-FM that Urban Meyer has purchased real-estate in Boalsburg, PA." Boalsburg, it should be noted, is a little town about five miles east-southeast of State College.

But the kind folks who keep records in that part of Pennsylvania say they don't have any proof that such a transaction has taken place.

"There is no deed recorded yet for Urban Meyer in Centre County," says Joe Davidson, the county's recorder of deeds.

That could either mean that the rumored sale hasn't happened — or it's yet to be recorded with his office, Davidson says.

Of course, if rumors are to be believed, Meyer buys houses all over the place — most of them right outside college towns with legendary football programs that have fallen on hard times.

In March, Meyer was believed to have bought a house in Upper Arlington, Ohio — near Ohio State University's home in Columbus.

"Got this news today from two very reliable sources," wrote a poster named Be Nice at the time, making at least a nod to journalistic responsibility. "Let the speculation begin."

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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