Nebraska, Scott Frost hit with minor NCAA violations for using extra coach

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Scott Frost and the Nebraska football program were formally hit with NCAA violations on Monday.

The NCAA announced that the Huskers violated rules regarding countable coaches when a special teams analyst “provided technical or tactical instruction” to players during practices and film sessions and helped with in-game coaching decisions. NCAA rules allow for just 10 full-time, on-field assistant coaches that can have direct contact with players.

“Because he was a noncoaching staff member, his instruction of student-athletes caused the program to exceed the number of permissible coaches in violation of NCAA rules,” the NCAA said in a release.

According to the NCAA, Frost “did address concerns with the analyst directly,” but “did not appropriately monitor the analyst or notify compliance staff that violations had occurred.” As a result, it was determined that Frost violated head coach responsibility rules.

Nebraska parted ways with the analyst, Jonathan Rutledge, in January 2021.

Frost has been given a one-year show-cause penalty and must serve a five-day suspension from all coaching activities during the 2022 football season.

The program was hit with a $10,000 fine and will be on probation through April 2023.

Additionally, the Huskers will be docked one on-field coach for two days of practice during the spring and will be without “all noncoaching staff members ”during “practice and competition” for five consecutive days during the regular season.

The violations were deemed Level II by the NCAA, which used its “negotiated resolution process” in this case. That process is used when the involved university agrees that violations occurred.

"I am appreciative of the diligent efforts of our University of Nebraska staff in working to bring this matter to a close. We have had outstanding collaboration with the NCAA, and I want to thank the NCAA staff for their time and professionalism throughout this process,” Nebraska athletic director Trev Alberts said. “It is important for the Nebraska athletic department and football program to put this matter behind us and turn our full attention to the upcoming season. We are pleased with the outcome and believe the negotiated resolution is fair and equitable. At Nebraska we are committed to running an athletic department that is fully compliant with all NCAA rules.”

FILE - In this Nov. 23, 2019, file photo, Nebraska head coach Scott Frost looks on during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Maryland in College Park, Md. It has been a slow build for Frost at Nebraska. The Cornhuskers are 9-15 in his first two seasons, including just 4-8 against Big Ten West opponents and only two road wins. (AP Photo/Will Newton, File)
Nebraska head coach Scott Frost is entering his fifth season as head coach. (AP Photo/Will Newton, File)

Scott Frost entering pivotal Year 5

Following a historic two-year stint at UCF, Frost was expected to execute a major turnaround at Nebraska, his alma mater. But over his four seasons in Lincoln, it has not come to fruition.

Frost has a 15-27 record and no bowl appearances as the head coach of the Huskers. In 2021, the Huskers went 3-9 overall with a 1-8 mark in Big Ten play. Remarkably, the Huskers went 0-8 in one-possession games and are 5-20 in one-possession games during Frost’s tenure.

Last season, Nebraska actually had a scoring margin of zero during conference play. The Huskers’ lone Big Ten victory came by 49 points — a 56-7 blowout over Northwestern. The team’s eight conference losses came by a combined 49 points — an average of just 6.1 points per defeat.

Despite the consistent losing, school leadership decided to bring Frost back for the 2022 season under a restructured contract that includes a significantly reduced buyout.

Frost fired a big chunk of his offensive staff and later brought in Mark Whipple from Pittsburgh as offensive coordinator. Longtime starting quarterback Adrian Martinez transferred to Kansas State and the Huskers added Texas transfer Casey Thompson.

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