Former Bruins quarterback Matt Stevens agrees, sort of.

"I've been booed before," said Stevens, who had five passes intercepted against Oklahoma in 1986. "It's not right. But they pay for that opportunity to boo, even though it's classless."

How far down, though, would you take it in the amateur ranks? High school games cost money. Does that give you the right to harangue a sophomore because he fumbled away your playoff berth?

In college, the wrath should almost always bypass players and go directly to the millionaire coach and his almost-millionaire athletic director.


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UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel understood this when he came to Prince's defense, telling reporters Sunday night that he wished fans would save their ire "for us coaches rather than young men who bust their tails and try their best on a weekly basis."

Stevens thinks Saturday's experience ultimately could help Prince.

"Let's say Kevin Prince has a storybook second half," Stevens said. "Those people who booed him, think how awful they'll feel if he leads them to the Rose Bowl?

Forget January. Think how they felt Saturday after Prince led a comeback win.

Or did they?

cdufresne@tribune.com