ATLANTA - A FOX 5 I-Team investigation could help some frustrated junior college football players get a refund on their tuition.
They attended the Atlanta Institute of Business and signed to play football for the Atlanta Lancers.
The owner of both — Erasmus Harvey of Atlanta — recruited players with the pitch they could improve their grades and playing skills to transfer to a bigger college program.
Harvey charged a $1500 downpayment for housing, but the students had to pay separately for the classes themselves. At a school not even in Georgia.
Community Christian College (cCc) is based in California. It offers on-line associate degrees in liberal arts.
For three years Erasmus Harvey has served as its Regional Athletic Director for the Southeastern States. The school says it dealt with Harvey’s sports league 3CAthletics.
Players who signed with Harvey’s Atlanta Institute of Business were told to enroll at cCc for their classes.
The cCc website lists more than 100 colleges that accept credit transfers. but most are also religious based. Only two are in Georgia.
AIB students complained the classes they were told to take from Community Christian College wouldn't transfer to bigger schools. cCc says it provides assistance with transfers when possible.
"Even if we wanted to go to a different school we would have basically wasted our time at that Christian school because the grades don’t transfer," complained former Atlanta Lancer Travonte Jackson.
He’s one of at least 35 students who never played a game this season.
In August, after only one week of practice, the school’s new head coach caught COVID. Harvey sent everyone home and canceled the season, refusing any refunds. He said the housing money was gone.
Head coach Derek Jenks told us he later discovered Harvey had no plans to ever play a game this year.
"There was a list of teams that we were to play that season on the website," he said. "I called every one of those schools. Those schools did not have a contract with us to play that season period."
After he was let go, Jenks came across the school’s bank records and shared them with the FOX 5 I-Team. They show at least 30-thousand dollars in questionable spending at places like liquor stores, restaurants and ATM withdrawals.
Harvey promised to send us receipts justifying his spending habits, but never did.
"What I do with my money is my business," he said.
A spokesperson for Community Christian College in California says the school did not pay Erasmus Harvey for students he helped enroll.
In light of our investigation, Community Christian College asked Harvey to remove any reference to their school from his website or social media pages.
"If there are any students who have been in Coach Harvey’s programs that did not receive their contracted services and were charged by Community Christian College, we are willing to refund immediately," said cCc president Brian Carroll.
A spokesperson said cCc did not pay Harvey or his company for each student sent and is not a recruiter for the college.
None of his players are currently enrolled.
Meanwhile, the Georgia Non Public Post Secondary Education Commission is investigating whether Harvey’s school has broken any state rules.
He promised but failed to provide us proof that he’s exempt from state regulations.
A commission spokesman said Harvey currently has no such exemption.