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Niasi Leota attacked, threatened to kill woman in front of their children, police say

Published: Saturday, Feb. 23 2013 11:55 a.m. MST

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Plano, TX

Really??? I can't believe a young mother was assaulted with such malicious intent, children involved and people CARE one whit about which school the individual attends or how one school or the other gets treated and represented in the press when their own do bad things. Hopefully no fan of other school could condone any such action by anyone and has their heart 100% oriented toward the safety of the innocent. Bigger fish to fry folks; lives are at stake.

Springville, UT

Hey Chris B,

Is this 'innocent until proven guilty' young man what you'd call a BCS quality 'superior athlete'? Just wanted to make sure.

Coach Whit,


Girlse State
Midvale, UT

Whittlingham, what would you say if it was your daughter who was almost beat to death? Man up.

Coach Biff
Lehi, UT

This is no time or forum for the usual drivel on these forums. This guy, no matter what team, needs to be locked away. I'm calling my fellow Y fans out on this one. I don't care that someone crowed on a former story about BYU players. Doesn't matter. Rise above that kind of trash. Prayers should go out to this young woman and her kids. Can't we all agree on that?

Spanish Fork, UT

Big BYU fan, but this is tragic. Hate to see this happen to any wife and to see any husband so out of control. He's got a lifetime of trouble ahead of him until he gets his head together. And by the way... this has nothing to do with football, but life. Sad. Kyle will help all he can but there aren't many options but jail first for assault and battery and maybe even attempt manslaughter and then therapy. K. Whitt will do what is good and right.

Springville, UT


"This story isn't about football."

Sure it is.

Sad to say that this athlete's actions reflect directly upon the Utes, the coaches, teammates, etc.

The reporter was correct to identify the man as a Ute football player. It is a horrible story and situation, and I am grateful this young lady and her children are still alive.

And by the way, Coach Whit needs to consider hiring a PR person along with the next batch of Co-OC's.

Provo, UT

"Leota is an example of the character building experiences provided by participation in sports." There could be a small correlation between violence and sports, but correlation doesn't mean causation.

Moses Lake, WA

Chris B. I'm proud of you!

Whoa Nellie
American Fork, UT

No excuse for violence like that against a woman.

Provo, UT
@Utes home for the holidays

the reason that some Utah fans do this is because many BYU fans consider BYU to be "God's University."

Name one.

Salt Lake City, UT

RE: sammyg "Sad to say that this athlete's actions reflect directly upon the Utes, the coaches, teammates, etc."

Wow, what a point of view. He is Polynesian. Care to cast your wide net against that community? I hope the kid doesn't turn out to be LDS, or you will be back to talk about how it reflects directly on that religion.

Ogden, UT

Unacceptable for any man to use his physical strength to abuse both physically, verbally and emotionally. May the wife, children and friend involved be comforted at this time. I can't imagine the mixed emotions that must be present. My prayers go out to you.

Springville, UT


Interesting spin on your part bringing ethnicity and religion into this. Got an agenda and some fries with that?

The thought of this kid being Polynesian or LDS never occurred to me until you interjected it. He's simply now a former Ute football player in jail that has some obvious anger management problems and appears to have no problem beating his wife.

Whether or not he's a Catholic, Jew, Hindu, Sikh, Protestant, LDS, Presbyterian, or Jim Jones follower, etc. doesn't mean squat to me nor his ethnicity either. He's a person with a serious problem and I'm grateful that his wife and children survived this.

I simply said that this guy's actions do reflect upon the Utes because he's a football player, an opinion counter to yours.

It's a minor disagreement but it is what it is.

Now if this kid was a BYU football player we would hear no end to this and I have no doubt that you would again interject the same religious and race cards as you have this story.

Pocatello, ID

Good grief. What do you want Kyle to say? "We are going to kick him to curb and not support us family". Would that make people feel better?

These are real people who now have to deal with a really big issue made public. I appreciate Kyle's response because he will stand by it. He's going to do whatever he can to help Leota's family. Anyone familiar with his career and recruitment know that his family made a lot f sacrifices for Neli to get a D1 scollie. While it is true that what he did was completely unacceptable, it is also unacceptable to not provide help when possible. Kyle didn't say he would allow Neli back, or let the legal system play out then make a decision on Leota's return. He summarily dismissed him from the team. But he also said he would help him and his family. How is this equivocal? How is this anything but the proper attitude to have? Here is a young man with a young family who is on the precipice of losing it all, and many here think Kyle should push him off.

Layton, UT

This guy's a monster. The response of the Utah Administration and Coaching Staff is appropriate. Now it's up to the justice system. Overall I'm impressed by the show of restraint by the byu fans. Go Utes.

Woods Cross, UT

Sometimes we forget that mental health issues are just as (if not more) debilitating than physical injuries. A broken leg can heal with appropriate care. A broken mind is sometimes much more difficult to mend and may have just as much --- if not more -- of a negative impact.

The Utah football program has been described as a family; the Polynesian community here is also a wonderful, warm family; the Leotas have three children and certainly also qualify as a family.

But there is also illness here, marked by behavior that is absolutely unacceptable in any context. And sadness for ALL the families involved.

The real message to all of us: We see again that mental illness is in fact a form of disease. If you are involved with or if you see a similar situation, get help before the situation escalates to this level. Failure to recognize and treat a disease --- any disease --- on a timely basis can have the most dire consequences.

Here a family has been fractured and scarred; include them in your prayers, all of them, and be sure to hug your spouse and children tonight. There but for the grace of God go you and I.

Ivins, UT

It's lame to bash participating in sports and citing this incident as a reason. When doctors or accountants beat their wife's and threaten to kill will you also believe those are unworthy professions? There are bad people in all walks of life, it's just sport and celebrity figures always make the news when they do bad things.


Stay classy, ute-haters


"Oh how sweet it is."

Wow. A few coug "fans" have really let their true colors show this time. You are only making yourselves look foolish, and disgusting.

Fortunately we know your words don't reflect the sentiments of most BYU fans, just as the horrible actions of this man do not reflect the standards of the university he attends.

Austin Coug
Pflugerville, TX

I agree with the sentiment that this isn't a football story and making this BYU vs. UTAH is immature and rediculous. Very tragic story.

Springville, UT

Though I agree that this story is about domestic violence I find it amusing that the story is about a Ute football player, has a headline tied to the Ute football team and is not found on the Ute sports section.

The story is conveniently buried elsewhere on the site attracting little attention.

Had this been a BYU player this story would be in heavy rotation as a headline on the front page and the sports sections.

Just an observation.

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