Nebraska Football Coach Scott Frost Hit with Minor Penalties

ESPN reports that Nebraska football coach Scott Frost received a one-year show-cause order and a five-day suspension to be served during the “championship segment” of the 2022 season as part of penalties for violating NCAA rules regarding countable coaches.

The NCAA’s committee on infractions released its findings after Nebraska agreed to the Level II violations and penalties as part of a negotiated resolution. The school acknowledge that in 2020, former special teams analyst Jonathan Rutledge coached Nebraska players during practices and film sessions and also helped with in-game coaching decisions, which violates NCAA rules for noncoaching staff members. The NCAA limits teams to 10 assistant coaches, and while many analysts are employed, they are not permitted to provide on-field or in-game instruction.

The show-cause order prevents Frost from participating in off-campus recruiting. Nebraska also had its probation extended through April 23, received a $10,000 fine and a reduction of countable coaches during two practices this spring and noncoaching staff for five days during the 2022 season.

“We have had an 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 in a statement. “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.”

The NCAA first contacted Nebraska about the potential violations in January 2021, after a media report about Rutledge’s departure from the program. Nebraska reviewed the allegations and in April 2021 notified the NCAA of its findings, which included Rutledge’s participation in coaching activities during two spring practices and throughout the 2020 season. In August 2021, Frost and athletic director Trev Alberts addressed the NCAA investigation into potential violations.

“The head coach failed to monitor the special teams analyst,” the negotiated resolution reads in part. “He was present when some of the violations occurred and identified red flags; yet he did not consult with compliance when he noticed these red flags to ensure the special teams analyst complied with NCAA legislation.”

Frost, a former star quarterback at Nebraska, is 15-29 as head coach at his alma mater. In November, Nebraska announced Frost would return for the 2022 season but with a restructured contract and a reduced salary and buyout.