Jireh Preparatory Academy, a post-graduate football program located in Matthews, North Carolina, has filed for bankruptcy protection. The move comes just months after a lawsuit was filed against the school by a student athlete, who alleges that Jireh Prep did not follow through on promises to help students win recruitment by NCAA schools.
The school filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy documents in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of North Carolina. The non-profit school says it has assets of less than $65,000 and owes approximately 50 creditors around $88,000. The prep school also claims it has no money in any of its bank accounts.
Despite the financial troubles, the school’s web site, Facebook page, and Twitter account appear to suggest that it’s business as usual.
Jireh Preparatory Academy, whose slogan is, “Building Men of Distinction,” helps those who struggle in school, “become a better student in the classroom and raise your GPA.” According to the site, students can choose from over 50 NCAA-approved core classes to strengthen their academics.
A link to the school’s academic programs leads to information on the school’s football team, the Warriors, where prospective students are told that teachers at Jireh Prep, “will work with you to identify your weaknesses and help improve them.”
Under the “Athletics” section of the school’s web site, it says: “Are your athletic skills underdeveloped? Have you discovered athletic talents too late in high school to gain the attention of college coaches? Jireh Preparatory Academy can help you get a second chance as a student athlete.”
But not everyone agrees. According to court documents, the prep school has experienced a massive decline in student enrollment after a class-action lawsuit was filed against it in November. In 2015 and 2016, Jireh Prep says it received about $750,000 annually in tuition. Up to this point in 2017, the school has received just $6,390.
Former student Evan Rhodes filed the complaint against the school, alleging it failed to deliver on its promise to students to gain admission to NCAA-accredited Division I and II colleges. Students pay between $13,000 and $14,000 per semester to attend Jireh Prep.
“In all material respects, Jireh Prep is a post-high school football program masquerading as a NCAA preparatory, non-profit educational intuitional,” Rhodes says.
The school filed a motion to have the lawsuit dismissed, but continues to move forward in the meantime.
Rhodes is claiming the school is guilty of fraud, facilitation of fraud, breach of contract, unfair/deceptive trade practices, breach of fiduciary duty, and civil conspiracy.
“Home,” U.S. Bankruptcy Court – Western District of North Carolina, last accessed July 7, 2017.
“Education,” Jireh Preparatory Academy, last accessed July 7, 2017.
“Student-Athlete Says Prep School Preyed On His Dreams,” Courthouse News Service, December 1, 2016.
“Class-Action Complaint,” Weaver, Bennett, & Bland, P.A., last accessed July 7, 2017.