SHREVEPORT, La. -- Maryland won't take a bath in red ink in the Independence Bowl, after all.
Athletic director Andy Geiger said from the start that Maryland would have to sell 2,000 of its allotted 15,000 tickets at $25 per to break even on the venture. The Independence pays $600,000 to each team, but, in the Terps' case, a chunk goes to the Atlantic Coast Conference and they're responsible for $375,000 in tickets.
"The actual sale is over 2,000," ticket manager Jack Zane said yesterday. "We're using another 600, counting the tickets the athletic department bought for staff, wives and players' comps."
Zane this week put 1,600 tickets at outlets here. Another 4,000 will go to the Boy Scouts.
Louisiana Tech, whose campus is only 65 miles away in Ruston, has sold 8,500 of its 15,000 tickets. Bowl people have sold 18,000.
Oregon lost $200,000 by playing in the Independence Bowl last year, but considered that a small price for some self-esteem. No school needs a boost to its self-esteem more than Maryland.
Geiger likes the fact no other bowl is scheduled Saturday. "We'll have a captive audience," he said. Maryland-Louisiana Tech will be televised in Baltimore by Ch. 45 at 8 p.m.
* IT'S A SMALL WORLD: Gordon Routley, chief of the Shreveport Fire Department, did his postgraduate work in fire protection and engineering at Maryland in 1972-73.
* SHHHHH: Louisiana Tech is blessed -- or cursed -- with one of the best-behaved crowds in the country.
"Our people have their own way of showing support," said Tech coach Joe Raymond Peace. "They're just not boisterous about it."
Tech fans regard their team with a sleepy loyalty.
"It's almost as if it's in bad taste to cheer," said Wiley Hilburn Jr., head of Tech's journalism department. "We had a band director here one time who told me he could strip naked at midfield and still not get more than polite applause."
* LONG ROAD: The Maryland party arrived yesterday via two commercial flights, each requiring a change of planes and an additional stop. The first group had to arise at 4 a.m. to catch the 5:45 a.m. flight. The players took naps before practice yesterday afternoon.
* TOP DOGS: The athletic directors at both schools got in late on a good thing. Geiger came from Stanford to Maryland Oct. 1. Jerry Stovall, who took the Tech job two weeks later, had been a bank official in Baton Rouge.