Icelandic volcano threatens Penn State-UCF game in Ireland

Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press
James Franklin's scheduled debut as Penn State's head coach is being threatened by a volcano.

The Aug. 30 Penn-State UCF game in Dublin, Ireland, could be disrupted by a volcano.

Yes, a volcano.

An Icelandic volcano named Bardarbunga might erupt, which would disrupt air travel to Europe because of its potential ash cloud. A report from DeutscheWells said, "Iceland's Meteorological Office has detected more than 2000 earthquakes in the Bardarbunga area since Saturday. Scientists see earthquakes as an early warning that a volcano might erupt. When magma moves deep down, the pressure breaks rocks and the earth starts to shake."

SI.com reported that in 2010, when the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull erupted, more than 100,000 flights to and from Europe were canceled because of the ash.

Penn State is scheduled to leave for the game on Tuesday, and the Centre Daily News newspaper of State College, Pa., reported that Penn State officials are aware of the recent activity at the volcano and the potential consequences of an eruption.

The volcano has added to the stress of getting equipment to the game. Normally, Penn State uses a tractor-trailer to transport its equipment, but the school is chartering a United Airlines flight for the equipment in this instance. Penn State officials have reached out to counterparts at Notre Dame for tips; the Irish played Navy in Dublin in 2012.

Notre Dame equipment manager Kevin Grooms told the Centre Daily Times that he and his staff had to create a list "for every piece of equipment we took to present to customs, and we itemized it all the way down to helmet screws and helmet hardware and the amount of screwdrivers."

UPDATE: The Associated Press reported that Iceland's Meteorological Office said Bardarbunga did begin to erupt on Saturday under the country's largest glacier. Iceland closed the airspace over the volcano, per The AP, and raised the aviation alert to red -- the highest level on a five-point scale -- but all indications are Penn State's and UCF's travel plans remain unchanged.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.