Details of the new contract between the University of Maryland and football coach Joe Krivak are expected to be revealed at a news conference today at Cole Field House.

Athletic Director Andy Geiger and Krivak agreed Wednesday on a deal that would allow Krivak, 18-25-1 during his first four seasons, to remain head coach of the Terrapins. Early indications were that the new contract is for four years but, reached last night in Shreveport, La., Geiger labeled that as speculation.

"Any number of years, or money or anything like this can only be speculation," he said. "I'm here with Mr. Krivak right now and we still haven't finished everything along those lines."

Geiger and Krivak were in Shreveport attending a news conference to promote Maryland's Dec. 15 appearance against Louisiana Tech in the Independence Bowl.

Maryland's 35-30 victory over then-No. 8 Virginia on Nov. 17 improved the Terrapins' record to 6-5 and gave the team its first winning season in five years. Beginning two days later, Geiger and Krivak met for three consecutive days, culminating Wednesday night with the unexpected invitation to the Independence Bowl and the announcement that the coach would be retained.

Maryland was invited after Baylor, which harbored hopes of appearing in the Cotton Bowl, decided not to play in the Independence Bowl. Geiger said he thought the Terrapins were selected over schools with better records, such as Temple (7-4) and North Carolina (6-4-1, including a win over Maryland), because of the strength of their schedule. Maryland faced six teams that will play in bowl games this year, including Virginia, No. 11 Penn State and No. 3 Georgia Tech.

"That's what they keep saying down here, that they were impressed by the teams we played," Geiger said. "I know some other teams may have passed up the chance to play, but we're happy to be here."

Being invited to the bowl game, Geiger said in Shreveport yesterday, "was a reward to a terrific bunch of seniors. They were recruited under the Bobby Ross regime and somewhere between high school and now it all fell apart.

"They've been through a lot and the primary thought in our coming to a bowl game was of the kids. What it does for the program was secondary to that."

Krivak said he was pleased by the invitation. "The first I got word was last Wednesday," he said. "Andy Geiger called me in and said 'What do you think about playing in the Independence Bowl?' " I said, 'Let's do it.' "

Maryland will receive $600,000 for playing in the game, but must pay the ACC $100,000 off the top and also had to buy 15,000 tickets at $25 each. Unless a sizable amount of those tickets are sold, the school may have trouble covering expenses for the trip.

Geiger said Maryland has reserved space for fans on commercial flights, which are currently offering greatly discounted fares for companion travelers, but confessed that "realistically" the school will be lucky if it can sell 2,000 tickets.

"They've got a lot of nice things laid out here and it's going to be a good time," Geiger said, "but it's tough to ask people to pull up stakes on faith."

Special correspondent Kent Heitholt contributed to this report.