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Airspace closed as Iceland volcano starts to erupt; PSU says trip still on schedule

NCAA Football: Central Florida at Penn State
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Sep 14, 2013; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions tight end Kyle Carter (87) attempts to avoid a tackle during the second quarter against the Central Florida Knights at Beaver Stadium. Central Florida defeated Penn State 34-31. (Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports)

Some of Iceland's airspace has been declared a no-fly zone after the Bardarbunga volcano started to erupt on Saturday.

The volcano's eruption hasn't hit the surface yet, but if it does and ash starts to fill the sky, it could delay or cancel thousands of flights, including the flights of Penn State and Central Florida. The teams are scheduled to play in Ireland on Saturday, Aug. 30.

According to the AP, the threat level in Iceland is red, the highest it can go. It means a "significant emission of ash into the atmosphere" is possible. Airspace 100 nautical miles by 140 nautical miles around the volcano is now restricted. The volcano is approximately 200 miles from Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland.

Officials in Iceland knew the Bardarbunga volcano was erupting when seismic data indicated that magma was melting the ice above it. It's unkown if or when the eruption will be able to break through the ice, some of which is 1,300 feet thick.

Both teams are scheduled to arrive in Dublin on August 27. Penn State released a statement Saturday afternoon and said the trip is still on schedule.

Over the past several days we have been talking with officials from UCF, the GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) and United Airlines, our charter provider. We continue to monitor the situation and maintain regular communication with all appropriate parties.

The safety and welfare of our student-athletes, staff and fans will be at the forefront throughout our discussions. At this time, we are continuing our preparations for the game and for the team to depart Tuesday evening for Dublin.

When the Eyjafjallajokul volcano erupted in 2010, approximately 100,000 flights were affected. However, a seismologist told the BBC that "We're nowhere near that point at the minute."

For more Penn State news, visit BlueWhiteIllustrated.com.

For more UCF news, visit UCFSports.com.

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Nick Bromberg is the assistant editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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