Davonte’ Neal, an assistant coach on the Idaho State football team, has been charged with first-degree murder.
The Idaho State Journal reports that Neal was arrested on May 25 in connection with a murder that occurred in Arizona in 2017.
The university told the outlet that Neal has been placed on administrative leave, and that the football team plans to terminate his contract.
“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 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.”
ISU president Kevin Satterlee added that “Idaho State takes all allegations involving our employees very seriously, and we are committed to the safety and well-being of our community. We are fully cooperating with law enforcement on their investigation.”
Neal played for Ragle, the first-year head coach, at Chaparral High School in Scottsdale, Ariz. Neal was named Gatorade Arizona Player of the Year as a wide receiver in his junior and senior years of high school; he was listed as the 53rd best player nationally in his class by 247, and enrolled at Notre Dame.
Neal transferred to the University of Arizona and played wide receiver as a sophomore before converting to defensive back for his junior and senior seasons.
Prior to joining Idaho State’s staff, Neal was an assistant at Higley High in Gilbert, Ariz.