Independence Bowl extends invite to Army-Navy winner Navy notebook

December 04, 1996|By Alan Goldstein and Carl Cannon | Alan Goldstein and Carl Cannon,SUN STAFF

The winner of Saturday's Army-Navy game has been extended an invitation to play Auburn in the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La., on New Year's Eve.

Navy athletic director Jack Lengyel said he was notified yesterday by Glen Krupica, the bowl's executive director.

The opportunity to play in the postseason came about after Notre Dame athletic director Mike Wadsworth rejected a bid from the Independence Bowl.

"There is a real Cinderella story here," said Donald Pierson, a member of the bowl selection committee, who graduated from West Point in 1976. "It's been a long time since both academies have enjoyed so much success on the football field."

Army (9-1) has lost only to Syracuse, and Navy (8-2) lost to Boston College and Notre Dame. The Independence Bowl guarantees each team $800,000.

"Publicity-wise, the pageantry one of the service academies would bring to our city and the game would be a real positive," said Rick Holland, bowl committee chairman.

One problem, however, is that the Brigade of Midshipmen will be on leave from Christmas until after New Year's. Attending the game would be voluntary.

The game will be played Dec. 31 with kickoff scheduled at 3: 30 p.m.

Clinton to attend

President Clinton, unable to resist the most appealing service academy matchup in years, will attend his first Army-Navy game.

Because both teams defeated Air Force, the winner of this year's game will be presented the Commander in Chief's Trophy. Reminded of this in a White House briefing, press secretary Mike McCurry smiled and said this might be something the commander in chief might want to go to Philadelphia and see for himself.

Hours later, White House aides made it official: Clinton would attend the game.

Pub Date: 12/04/96

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