Nebraska's coaching staff has unwittingly become the source of controversy in the wake of head coach Scott Frost's comments about how hard the entire offensive line is being pushed in practices leading up to the start of the regular season.
During an appearance on his monthly radio show (h/t Evan Bland of the Omaha World-Herald), Frost said members of the offensive line vomit a combined total of 15-20 times every practice.
"It’s not because they’re not in shape—he’s just working them hard," Frost said of offensive line coach Donovan Raiola. "I think they love it. He’s kind of freed them up to go be aggressive and I love the way they’re coming off the ball."
After Frost's comments came out, there was swift backlash to the coaching staff for allowing this to happen.
ESPN's Kevin Seifert called the comments "an absurd and embarrassing thing to brag about" and noted he covered the death of an NFL player (Minnesota Vikings offensive lineman Korey Stringer, who died in 2001) from heatstroke caused in part by vomiting during practice.
Kevin Seifert @SeifertESPN
An absurd and embarrassing thing to brag about. I hope this is a joke. I covered the death of an NFL player from heat stroke that was caused (and indicated) in part by vomiting during practice. You see that happen once and you don’t need a reminder. Just stop it. <a href="https://t.co/UP8dFvEb0i">https://t.co/UP8dFvEb0i</a>
In July 2021, ahead of the 20th anniversary of Stringer's death, Seifert wrote an article for ESPN.com highlighting some of the ways the NFL and individual states have changed safety protocols to protect football players from heat exhaustion.
"A total of 38 states have changed laws or adopted new guidelines to mandate safety protocols, and an estimated 75 percent of high schools in the country have cold water immersion tubs available to reverse the onset of heat illness, according to Douglas Casa, chief executive officer of KSI and a professor of kinesiology at UConn," Seifert wrote.
Morgan Campbell of CBS Sports said he would be asking questions if he saw that many players getting sick on the field during practice.
Frost presumably thought he was making a comment about how hard the players are working to ensure the Cornhuskers have a good season, but this will only raise questions about the staff's coaching style and philosophy.
Nebraska is set to open the 2022 season on Aug. 27 against Northwestern at Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland. The Cornhuskers have a 15-29 record in four seasons with Frost as head coach.