First-year Nebraska coach Scott Frost said Thursday the transfers of three of his former players to Oregon State raised his suspicions, though he stopped short of leveling a tampering charge against the Beavers.
Linebacker Avery Roberts, quarterback Tristan Gebbia and receiver Tyjon Lindsey all transferred from Nebraska to Oregon State in the last two months. It was part of the reason Frost listed Oregon State as one of the schools Greg Bell couldn't transfer to as a condition of granting the running back's scholarship release last week.
The Cornhuskers' previous staff has deep ties to Oregon State, and former Huskers assistant Trent Bray returned there to coach linebackers this season. Former director of football operations Dan Van De Riet has gone back to Oregon State in the same role. Mike Riley, the coach Frost replaced, was a longtime Oregon State head coach who now is a consultant for the Beavers.
"There's no doubt in my mind those kids were probably in touch with some people they formerly knew that were here," Frost said Thursday.
It's against NCAA rules for representatives of a school to contact a player from another school about transferring. Frost's decision on Bell was made 10 days before NCAA transfer rules change. Starting Oct. 15, athletes will no longer have to ask for permission to transfer from their current schools and schools cannot block transfers.
"If someone is contacting our kids while they're still our kids and trying to get them to transfer, I'm not going to be a big fan of that continuing to happen," Frost said. "And I'm not saying it did happen."
Oregon State athletics spokesman Steve Fenk said the school had no response to Frost's comments.
Frost said he would be a hypocrite if he didn't acknowledge he spoke to Central Florida quarterback McKenzie Milton on Wednesday. Frost developed a strong relationship with Milton as his coach in 2016-17. Frost said the two spoke on the video service Facetime because it was Milton's birthday.
In May, Hawaii coach Nick Rolovich called out Oregon State on social media for sending recruiting material to his players that allegedly included invitations to the Beavers' spring game. Three Oregon State assistants were assistants at Hawaii in recent years.
Oregon State described the contact with the Hawaii players as "unintentional." Oregon State reported what happened to the NCAA, and it was ruled a secondary violation.
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