U. of Nebraska Football Violated Countable Coaches Rules

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University of Nebraska coach Scott Frost has received a one-year show-cause order and five-day planned suspension after breaking rules for countable coaches, the NCAA announced Monday.

As reported by CBS Sports, additional penalties for the program include an extended probation until April 2023, a reduction of on-field coaches for two practices and a $10,000 fine. 

The case was decided using the NCAA's negotiated resolution process, which is available when an institution does not dispute the facts of alleged violations. 

"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," said Nebraska athletic director Trev Alberts in a statement. "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."

The violation in question involved a former special teams analyst who "provided technical or tactical instruction to student-athletes" during practices, film sessions and games. Because of the special teams analyst's involvement, Nebraska exceeded the 10 allowed on-field assistant coaches. The violations took place during the fall 2020 season, CBS Sports reported.

Frost was hit with a Level II punishment for being aware of the violation and not acting, and his suspension will take place at some point during the upcoming 2022 football season. 

While the NCAA did not name the analyst in question, Jonathan Rutledge served as senior special teams analyst before he was fired in January 2021, according to Shehan Jeyarajah of CBS Sports. Analysts are allowed to speak to coaches, but are not permitted to have direct contact with players. The NCAA alleged that the unnamed Nebraska analyst did everything from individualized film analysis with players to making calls during competition. 

The Cornhuskers have ranked  struggled with special teams since Frost arrived and ranked No. 93 in SP+ special teams in 2020. They've ranked No. 111 nationally in net punting, No. 96 in kickoff returns, No. 87 in kickoff return defense and No. 105 in punt return defense. Nebraska hired Bill Busch as a full-time special teams coordinator in 2022. As an on-field coach, he is allowed to interact with players.

Special teams have struggled under Frost, who is 15-29 in four seasons as Nebraska's head coach. Despite a 3-9 record in 2021, the Cornhuskers brought Frost back in 2022 with a reduced salary and buyout as Frost revamped his offensive staff. 

Nebraska hired Bill Busch as a full-time special teams coordinator in 2022. As an on-field coach, he is allowed to interact with players, CBS Sports reported.

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