To Boo or Not to Boo
I asked a couple players after the game about the boos cascading down on Jordan Steffy. Darrius Heyward-Bey told me that he does not hear it and that Steffy does a great job blocking all of that out. Center Edwin Williams said he does not hear it and that the fans clearly are on the outside looking in and that players are involved in the situation and are the ones with first-hand information about the situation.
Steffy is a fifth-year senior athletically, a college graduate less than a month away from his 23rd birthday, but both Coach Ralph Friedgen and school officials have tried to protect him psychologically from a lot of the fan backlash. That was the reasoning that went into Friedgen’s decision not to let Steffy speak to the media following the game.
That is rarely seen in the college football world, a starting quarterback who wins the game not allowed to speak to the media because of the coach’s decision. If Steffy were unavailable because he was receiving treatment on his thumb, that would be one thing. But the decision was made to insulate the quarterback from media scrutiny.
In a sense, it may come to a point where Steffy feels more comfortable on the road than at home. At least on the road, they boo the entire team, not just the starting quarterback. Many believe some college athletes are public figures. A Tim Tebow. A Vince Young, Reggie Bush or Matt Leinart a few years back. But most of the observers I have talked to about this say it would be hard to classify the starting quarterback of a ACC bowl-hopeful as a public figure who could be open to extensive scrutiny.
Does that make a difference in whether a player like Steffy should be booed? Is it acceptable to boo any college athlete? Should true Maryland fans boo any Terrapins player?
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