NCAA investigating Nebraska’s storied football program

National Sports
Scott Frost

FILE – Nebraska head coach Scott Frost listens to a question during a news conference on the first day of NCAA college football spring practice in Lincoln, Neb., in this Monday, March 9, 2020, file photo. The Huskers are on their longest streak of losing seasons (four) since the six in a row from 1956-61. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska announced Wednesday that the NCAA is looking into its football program amid allegations Cornhuskers staff improperly used analysts and consultants with the knowledge of coach Scott Frost and even moved workouts off campus last year when such activities were banned during the pandemic.

Alberts confirmed the investigation first reported by The Action Network while Frost said any workouts were approved by his superiors.

“Everything we did through COVID was in the best interest and health of our players in mind and everything we did was approved by athletic department administration and campus administration,” Frost said after practice.

Citing unidentified sources, The Action Network report said Nebraska has “significant video footage” confirming practice violations occurred in the presence of Frost and other assistants.

Alberts said the investigation started before his hiring was announced July 14 and that he found out about it after he started.

“We thought it was important the two of us come out and validate what you all have read on the internet and the reports that are out there nationally,” Alberts said.

The NCAA has interviewed Frost, current and former staff members, administrators and football players, and Frost has hired an attorney. The alleged violations occurred in the last 12 months.

“We want you to know we have complied 100% with the NCAA, been very collaborative in our approach with them in terms of all of their investigation,” Alberts said. “We will continue to do whatever the NCAA has asked us to do. Our coaches, including coach Frost, have done a great job and have been very accessible in working with the NCAA as we’ve worked through these allegations.”

Alberts said he couldn’t comment further because of the ongoing investigation.

The report comes less than two weeks before the Huskers open Frost’s fourth season with a game at Illinois. Frost, who quarterbacked the Huskers to the 1997 national championship, returned to his alma mater in his home state after being named national coach of the year for leading Central Florida to a 13-0 record in 2017.

Frost has struggled at Nebraska, going 12-20 in his first three years and never finishing higher than fifth in the Big Ten West. The program has had four straight losing seasons, its most in a row since the late 1950s.

Frost is under contract through 2026, and his current buyout is $20 million.

The NCAA investigation includes Nebraska’s impermissible use of experts running special teams drills. Analysts are not among the 10 full-time on-field assistants and are not allowed to speak with players.

A year ago, the NCAA disallowed organized workouts because of the pandemic. According to the report, Nebraska allegedly relocated its strength workouts to an undisclosed off-campus location to avoid detection at the direction of NU’s strength and conditioning staff.

Frost and former Nebraska athletic director Bill Moos had been vocal in wanting to play in 2020 after the Big Ten initially canceled its season. The Big Ten reversed course and set up an eight-game conference-only schedule starting in late October.

The special teams analyst, Jonathan Rutledge, was fired in January. Moos unexpectedly announced his retirement in June. Gerrod Lambrecht, Frost’s chief of staff, resigned two weeks ago.

Moos did not respond to a text message from The Associated Press seeking comment.

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