Football coaches meticulously prepare for nearly every situation. The possibility of having a game postponed due to volcanic activity isn’t one of them.
The Croke Park Classic, which will be played between the Penn State Nittany Lions and UCF Knights in Dublin, Ireland, is in jeopardy due to potential travel restrictions that may or may not be caused by an active volcano. The Bárdarbunga volcano in Iceland appears to be in the beginning stages of an eruption. If the volcano does erupt, thousands of flights to Europe will be cancelled.
Both teams currently plan on making the trip, but there are “alternative plans” in place if they can’t make the trip.
“In all of my life, I never worry about things I have no control over,” UCF head coach George O’Leary told UCFSports.com. “I have no control over a volcano, electricity, hurricanes. I don’t worry about them. We have alternative plans. If that occurs, then that’s something that occurs. You can’t fly, you can’t fly. Right now we’re getting ready to hit somebody else and get to Ireland.”
UCF plans to depart for Dublin at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Penn State has the same plans.
Penn State says as of now it still plans to leave Tuesday night for Dublin, Ireland
— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) August 23, 2014
O’Leary wouldn’t describe exactly what he meant by alternative plans, but the two teams could meet at Bright House Networks Stadium in Orlando after playing in State College last year.
If the teams have to change plans, it would be especially disappointing for Penn State. The trip was originally scheduled as a reward for the members of the team that stayed after the NCAA handed down bowl sanctions due to the Jerry Sandusky scandal.