Football player has higher education plans dashed


Nate Spencer started playing football when he was a kid in Mechanicsburg. 

His family then moved to Steelton where he led the Rollers to two district championships. 

He worked toward playing at the next level. 

“There were points where I was frustrated because I felt like I wasn’t going to go to college,” said Spencer. 

Nate didn’t give up. After a few offers and opportunities dropped, he called an audible, deciding to join three of his Roller teammates at Jersey Coast Academy in Toms River, New Jersey. 

“To be honest, I didn’t do a lot of research on them because it was like I only had two weeks and I had to get money and all that,” said Spencer. 

Nate knew the junior college was still getting off the ground. The school didn’t have a physical campus, but it was linked to nearby Ocean County Community College. 

“Maybe I could do one year and then transfer because I only need a couple of credits to go where I actually want to be,” said Spencer. 

But when Nate arrived, less than a dozen of the 40-person football team was there. 

The hotel they were supposed to be living in was a motel. The meal plan they were promised was nowhere to be found. And the coach who was supposed to be leading them resigned during the first week of training camp. 

With the head coach gone and a football team sacked, Nate and his Roller teammates returned home to Steelton. 

“Everything they told us was mostly false claims,” said Spencer. 

It was too late for the guys to enroll in any other schools, even community college, and they were out at least $2,000 they each put toward their tuition. 

Jersey Coast Academy is in the process of refunding all of the football players. 

We found discrepancies on the school’s website. 

We reached out to members on the advisory board who said they never agreed to be on the board. 

Jersey Coast Academy says it plans to update its website. 

It is also hiring a new coach and says all of the boys are welcome to come back in the spring. 

For more information about college planning from the Pennsylvania Department of Education, click here

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