Scott Frost was officially retained as Nebraska’s head coach for the 2022 season one week ago today. Four days later, the restructured contract—which Frost agreed to with athletic director Trev Alberts through discussions—highlighted some of the changes Frost faces going forward.
The contract—which Alberts previously gave an insight into on Sports Nightly—changes Frost’s 2022 salary and buyout. Frost will earn $4 million next season instead of the previously-agreed-upon $5 million. Frost’s buyout also went from $15 million down to $7.5 million. If Frost and the football team achieve “metrics mutually agreed to by the parties (next year),” his salary will return to $5 million for 2023 and he will receive a one-year contract extension through Dec. 31, 2027.
What are those metrics exactly?
“Those are just making sure we get on the right track and get winning,” Frost said on Monday, adding that he didn’t want to say more than that. He added that it was “obvious” what needs to be done at Nebraska going forward.
It does seem obvious that the first six games of the 2022 season are particularly important. Nebraska will play Northwestern in Ireland, North Dakota, Georgia Southern and Oklahoma at home for the nonconference schedule, Rutgers on the road and Indiana at home. That matchup with the Hoosiers is scheduled for Oct. 1, 2022, which is particularly important to note.
If Frost is fired next year, he’ll be paid the $7.5 million buyout on a prorated basis: $2.5 million in 2023 and 2024 and $1.25 million in 2025 and 2026 ($7.5 million), down from the initial price tag of $15 million total. If Frost earns the extra year in 2027 but is fired during that season, Nebraska will not owe him a buyout. If he is fired without cause prior to Oct. 1, 2022, the old buyout remains in effect.
Essentially, once Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022, rolls around, Alberts will have data from six games to work with. He’ll also have a reduced buyout to consider too if he feels a change needs to be made.
For now, Frost is focused on what he needs to do in the short term. That is preparing Nebraska for its matchups with Wisconsin (and then Iowa), as well as finding an offensive coordinator (which he focuses on mostly at night right now).
But first, the Badgers.
“They’re hot right now. I can’t credit them enough,” Frost said about Wisconsin, adding that he hasn’t watched a lot of the Badgers’ offense on film yet. However, he knows Wisconsin is a tough, physical team on both sides of the ball.
“It’s going to be an ugly game,” Frost said.
Or, better yet, “a Big Ten game in November.”
More news and notes:
>> Frost said he didn’t expect running back Sevion Morrison to return to the program, which Morrison confirmed on Twitter Monday afternoon. Morrison said he made the decision to place his name in the transfer portal.
— 28 (@SevyMorrison28) November 15, 2021
“I love all these kids, I love Sev,” Frost said. “Not everyone can play and this is the way college football can be.”
Frost didn’t get into specifics on Morrison, but said he’ll bend over backwards for those that do things the right way. He added that programs will lose some and gain some back along the way.
Morrison arrived at Nebraska in 2020, but he did not see the field until his second season in 2021. Morrison played in seven games this season, rushing 30 times for 116 yards and three touchdowns. He made his career debut for Nebraska against Fordham, finishing that game with nine carries for 31 yards and two touchdowns. His last game for Nebraska was the trip to Minnesota, where Morrison had four carries for 19 yards.
>> JoJo Domann made the decision not to play in Nebraska’s final two games of the season after suffering an injury that required surgery. Frost had hinted at the possibility following the Huskers’ loss to Ohio State, but said he wanted to leave any announcement to Domann.
On Monday, Frost was able to speak more specifically about Domann’s decision. “He’s been great,” Frost said, adding that he’s been a leader for Nebraska and that he’s seen him develop over the last few years.
“I’m really thankful for him,” Frost said.
As for who could fill in for Domann, Isaac Gifford seems like a safe bet. Frost did say it could be multiple players depending on the what personnel group the other team is in, but that Gifford has done a good job coming in and learning quickly. He added that Gifford is “a grown up, he’s tough.”
>> Will Nebraska get Deontai Williams back this week? Maybe. Frost said he’s progressing well and that he could return by this weekend.
>> Frost said that Chase Contreraz will continue to be the Huskers’ starting kicker.
Erin is the Deputy Editor and Digital Marketing Strategist for Hail Varsity. She has covered Nebraska athletics since 2012, which has included stops at Bleacher Report, Cox Media Group’s Land of 10, and even Hail Varsity (previously from 2012-2017). She has also been featured on the Big Ten Network, NET’s Big Red Wrap-Up, and a varsity of radio shows nationwide. When not covering the Huskers, Erin is probably at Chipotle.