IRVINGTON, N.J. (PIX11) -- When a person logs on to the website for The Robinson School in Irvington, New Jersey, they quickly learn about a basketball powerhouse, one that showcases its championship pedigree as well as its proven track record of securing kids a college scholarship.
The school's site also boasts that it has facilities that mirror a college campus and that it emulates the college environment and experience. Additionally the site list conflicting information surrounding its academics schedule -- primarily the times that students invest in SAT preparations.
PIX11 News showed up to the Robinson School, during ACT prep hours on a Tuesday. The school is actually based at the The Chris Gatling Recreation Center.
When we showed up, we found no students nor any classrooms. Additionally, we were unable to find various school administrative offices or personnel. Only an outdated weight-room, a rec-room, a gym and a table with Robinson School basketball stats.
A worker for the recreation center, eventually put us on a call with the founder of the Robinson School coach, Vincent Robinson.
In our conversation, Coach Robinson informed PIX11 News that the school was cancelled for the day as result of snow. Although, a few blocks away a public Elementary School had its doors open and its classrooms filled.
Two days later PIX11 News returned during the scheduled morning ACT Prep times. This time The Robinson School had students in action -- on the court that is.
Seconds after blowing their opponents out by 43 points, PIX 11 News approached Coach Vincent Robinson to ask him about his school, the location of its classrooms, as well as whether or not they had a Dean? The coach opted for a different kind of fast break.
Coach Robinson informed our camera that we were not allowed to go downstairs of the public facility stating the following on numerous occasions, "I don't want to talk to you, you've got to talk to the Mayor."
After disappearing behind two metal doors Coach Robinson emerged a few minutes later to talk to college recruiters that had scouted his team. Once he started to talk to them about why PIX11 News was on site, we approached coach once again. When we asked him, why he wouldn't want to bring exposure to his program and his students, Robinson quickly responded, "Not this type of exposure, I know what Channel 11 does."
"I don't want to talk to you. Go to Prestige or Coastal and talk to them. Maybe one of them will talk with you. We don't need your type of publicity."
Ultimately, we showed the video to Irvington Mayor Tony Vauss, who wasted little time in shooting down Robinson's claims after asked if he gave an order to the coach. "I have not spoken to him in reference of you guys at all."
There may be reasons as to why Coach Robinson declined to answer any of our inquiries. PIX11 News obtained documents from the New Jersey Department of Treasury that shows that The Robinson School had its business status revoked more than two years ago for failure to file annual reports. Additionally, Robinson's other business that he has filed with the state, the one he used to pay the City of Irvington $800 last October for rental of the Gatling Recreation Center, had its status revoked more than four years ago. Again, for failure to file annual reports.
It should be noted that The Robinson School is not a member of the New Jersey Association of Independent Schools according to an official at the association.
Separately, PIX11 News did reach out to the NCAA and asked them about The Robinson School to see if they had any information on the school, since they do have a strong record of securing scholarships. A spokeswoman for the NCAA said they are working on our request adding, "I don't know if anyone is familiar with that particular school."