N. Dame is primary choice for La. bowl Irish could end hopes of Army-Navy winner

December 03, 1996|By Alan Goldstein | Alan Goldstein,SUN STAFF

The winner of Saturday's Army-Navy game in Philadelphia could receive an invitation to play Auburn in the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La., on New Year's Eve; it appears to depend, for the most part, on whether Notre Dame decides if it is interested in participating as the at-large team.

"We talked [yesterday] with Notre Dame's assistant athletic director, George Kelly," said Independence Bowl chairman Rick Holland. "They're evaluating their position. We expect a decision by [today], but I'm not real optimistic that they'll agree to play here."

The Associated Press reported Notre Dame athletic director Mike Wadsworth has said the Irish won't accept a bid to the Independence.

"If they turn us down, we'll definitely be eyeing the winner of Army-Navy," Holland said.

"We'll be attending that game. Publicity-wise, the pageantry the service academies would add to our game would be a real positive."

Landing Notre Dame would be a greater plum for the Independence Bowl, considered one of the minor postseason games despite guaranteeing each team $800,000.

The Fighting Irish (8-3) lost a berth in the Bowl Alliance after losing to Southern California, 20-17, Saturday night.

Pub Date: 12/03/96

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