Fans love to remember the villains in Utah-BYU rivalry

by | Mar. 01, 2010

Saints & Sports

Back in 1996 when Utah and BYU played in the Huntsman Center, Cougar freshman Nathan Cooper got in a little skirmish with Ute star Keith Van Horn under the east basket.

Cooper fouled Van Horn a little too hard for Van Horn's liking as well as the fans in the sold-out arena. Van Horn came up flailing and received a technical foul as the two exchanged words.

Because of the scuffle, Cooper was the recipient of the wrath of Ute fans for the rest of the game in the form of boos, not to mention for the rest of his career. To this day, there are Ute fans who haven't forgotten Cooper, despite his unremarkable career as a Cougar.

Cooper is just one of many "villains" the Utah-BYU rivalry has produced over the years.

BYU fans might remember U. defensive back Jeff Griffin slugging a BYU receiver or Ute center Buster Matheney busting Jay Cheesman's chops in a game at the Marriott Center back in the 1970s. Matheney was ejected from the game and wasn't a popular guy when he returned to Provo for his senior season.

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