Nebraska coach Scott Frost has made his contention clear in the past that he views universities that operate on the quarters system rather than semesters as having a distinct advantage in the transfer market.
That played a role in NU’s decision to block running back Greg Bell from potentially transferring to Oregon State. It’s not clear that Bell had any interest in the school in the first place, but its inclusion jumped out because it’s not a conference or future nonconference opponent of the Huskers like the others on the list.
Combine that with the fact that three other Husker players — quarterback Tristan Gebbia, linebacker Avery Roberts and wide receiver Tyjon Lindsey — have all transferred to Oregon State in the past two months, and it was a bit of a conspicuous addition.
“I was questioned a little earlier in the year and I said it with a wink and a smile when I said that, right now with the way the transfer rule is, the quarters teams are at an advantage,” Frost said. “We couldn’t get a player in if he wanted to transfer here a week before the season started or right when the season started. Some of these quarters teams are still taking them. I think that’s an unintended consequence of the rule they made, but it doesn’t create something that’s competitively fair and balanced.” Bell did not have the same connections to some of the Beavers’ staff — former head coach Mike Riley, linebackers coach Trent Bray and staffers Dan Van de Reit and James Rodgers among them — that the other three did, but Frost pointed to the obvious connections between the schools as an additional reason for blocking it.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that those kids were probably in touch with some people that they formerly knew that were here,” Frost said. “It’s hard for me to criticize because we still talk — I talked to (Central Florida quarterback) McKenzie Milton last night on FaceTime. It was his birthday. So it’s hard for me to criticize that without being hypocritical.
“But at the same time, 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 fan if that continuing to happen. I’m not saying it did happen. Two weeks from now the transfer rule changes and you can’t block anybody, so it’s kind of a moot point.”
It’s not even that long until the transfer rule changes. As of Oct. 15, schools can no longer block players from transferring to any other school. Players simply inform a school of their intent to transfer and then the school will have 48 hours to put the player’s name in an NCAA-curated database. Then any coach in the country can contact the player.
At that point, Frost isn’t quite sure what will happen, nor is anybody else.
“It’s already got a little messier this year, I’m sure it will continue to get messy,” Frost said. “The bottom line is, this day and age, a lot of people want what they want and they want it now. There’s not a lot of patience, there’s not a lot of willingness to fight through and to change their circumstances.
“People have a tendency just to think the grass might be greener somewhere else. I hope it doesn’t become the Wild West and college basketball with everybody transferring, but we’re all going to have to figure out how it looks and do the best with what we have.”