You might be too young to remember Larry Johnson at UNLV. Hell, you might be too young to remember Larry Johnson at Charlotte. But back in the day, Johnson was not only one of the best players in the nation for one of the best teams in NCAA history, he was also one of the most hated.
Considering what all of his former teammates now say about him, and all that he sacrificed as a veteran player in New York, the hatred he drew from fans while at UNLV is ironic. Still, it helped vault him into a special class as one of the most disliked college players ever.
College basketball is followed by millions of people. Whether it’s students shouting and cheering for their fellow peers or alums keeping tabs on their alma maters from afar, people are always tuned into NCAA games. With such a vast and passionate fan base there are going to be numerous players that aren’t liked by the fans and this article is a list of 20 of the most hated players throughout NCAA history.
If you’re a Duke fan, I suggest you prepare yourself.
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20. AUBREY COLEMAN
While many of the other players on this list didn’t do much more to garner the hatred of opposing fans than play basketball (or go to Duke), Aubrey Coleman decided to do more with his feet than run and jump. Four years ago, Coleman and his Houston Cougars faced the Arizona Wildcats. After Wildcat swingman Chase Budinger took a charge, Coleman was upset with the call and took it out on Budinger’s face by stomping down on it as he walked over Budinger.
19. MARCUS CAMBY
Marcus Camby was a program-changing player for the University of Massachusetts. His impact was felt immediately for UMass, blocking 105 shots on his way to winning A-10 Freshmen of the Year following the 1993-94 season. Then in 1996, he led the Minutemen to the Final Four. The NCAA later nullified that after it was discovered Camby accepted $28,000 from two sports agents while still at UMass. Camby may be the only player on his list that was more hated by his own school’s fans than those of the opposing teams.
18. JOAKIM NOAH
Joakim Noah was the definition of unique during his years as a Florida Gator. Noah combined athleticism, flair, size and long locks of hair into a persona that made him an easy target for haters. Winning back-to-back NCAA championships didn’t help either and Noah was very much the face of those teams.
17. DANNY AINGE
Danny Ainge brought BYU to the forefront of college basketball during his tenure there from 1977-81. Ainge was best known for his ability to frustrate other opponents. He was constantly hustling for loose balls, diving after anyone within his reach and was always in the face of opposing players. But it’s the penultimate play of his college career that drove most fans wild, a seemingly effortless full court layup to upset Notre Dame.