Thursday, June 30, 2022

Idaho State assistant charged with first-degree murder in 2017 incident, placed on administrative leave

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Idaho State has placed Davonte’ Neal on administrative leave and initiated proceedings to terminate his contract after the defensive backs coach was recently arrested and charged with first-degree murder. 

The incident resulting in Neal’s arrest occurred in Arizona back in 2017. He faces three other felonies in addition to first-degree murder, including one count of drive-by shooting, a class two felony. Neal was arrested without incident and is currently in jail awaiting extradition back to Arizona. 

“I have been in constant contact with (ISU head coach Charlie Ragle) who has known Davonte’ for many years and never had any knowledge or suspicion of a possible crime of any kind,” ISU athletic director Pauline Thiros told the Idaho State Journal. “The news of Davonte’ Neal’s arrest and charges in Arizona was a great shock. Going forward, we will cooperate in every way possible, safeguard our program and culture, support each other and our students, and allow the legal process to work. The news is devastating and we hope for resolution for all involved.” 

The report also notes that the school says it ran a background check before hiring Neal, which “came back clean.” 

Neal, who played college football for a season at Notre Dame before finishing his career at Arizona, just joined the Idaho State coaching staff in January. Ragle was Neal’s high school football coach in Arizona, and he brought his former player on board from his previous position as a high school assistant in Gilbert, Ariz.. 

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