Not everyone connected to Randy Moss is kicking the guy when he's down ... the NFL star's college coach not only has Randy's back ... but insists Moss has always been a "team guy."
TMZ spoke with former Marshall University head coach Bob Pruett -- who led Randy and The Herd to a conference championship back in 1997 ... and dude tells us the Randy he knows was "always a role model."
In case you've been in a cave this week -- Moss was the victim of a surprise cut by the Minnesota Vikings ... and since his release, Moss has been getting killed in the press for allegedly creating drama in the locker rooms of both the Vikes and the New England Patriots.
But Coach Pruett -- who says he still talks frequently with Randy -- tells us. "[Moss] definitely wears his emotions on his sleeve" ... but insists "He's just a competitive athlete who wants to win ... he's always been a team guy."
Pruett did have one interesting criticism about the Vikings -- saying, "It seems like the people at Minnesota are having problems with players other than [Randy]."
Wonder if he's talking about a guy who's name rhymes with Schmett Schmavre?