Scott Frost

Nebraska coach Scott Frost said Thursday that NU blocked running back Greg Bell from transferring to Oregon State because OSU enjoys an advantage in attracting transfers through its academic calendar and quarters system. 

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When Greg Bell chose to transfer late last week, Nebraska granted a release from his scholarship but blocked him from all Big Ten teams, nonconference opponents through the 2021 season and Oregon State.

The Beavers have taken three Husker transfers in the past two months — linebacker Avery Roberts, quarterback Tristan Gebbia and receiver Tyjon Lindsey. Coach Scott Frost said Thursday that Oregon State enjoys an advantage in attracting transfers because of its academic calendar and quarters system, which begins school later and allows students to add classes into early October.

Oregon State was able to successfully enroll Lindsey, who left NU last week.

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“Right now, with the way the transfer rule is, quarters teams are at an advantage,” Frost said. “We couldn’t get a player in — if they wanted to transfer here — 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 competitive balance.”

Frost said he had “no doubt” that Roberts, Gebbia and Lindsey were in touch with “coaches who were formerly here.” In this case, that’d be Trent Bray, now an assistant with the Beavers, and former Nebraska coach Mike Riley, an analyst at Oregon State who’s going to be coaching in a new spring football league in 2019.

“It’s hard for me to criticize (Oregon State coaches) without being hypocritical,” Frost said, noting that he talked to Central Florida quarterback McKenzie Milton on his birthday Wednesday night. “But at the same time, if someone is trying to contact our kids while they’re still our kids and trying to get them to transfer, then I’m not going to be a fan of that continuing to happen. I’m not saying it did happen.”

Bell, who signed with NU out of Arizona Western, was not recruited by Nebraska’s former staff, which did not sign any junior college players during Riley’s tenure.

A new NCAA rule that goes into effect Oct. 15 makes Nebraska’s blockage list moot anyway. Athletes will be able to transfer wherever they like without a school’s permission, entering a nationwide database that allows schools to contact the athletes.

Frost doesn’t know what will happen when the new rule goes in place.

“It’s already gotten a little messier this year; I’m sure it’ll continue to get messy,” Frost said. “The bottom line is, in 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 change their circumstance. People have the tendency to think the grass might be greener somewhere else. I hope it doesn’t become the wild west and (like) college basketball with everybody transferring.”