Claudia Dimuro, pennlive.com
ESPN has reportedly been duped by a dubious high school that lied its way to playing on national TV.
The high school in question, Bishop Sycamore, may not even be real, with its head coach supposedly wanted for fraud.
This is who Bishop Sycamore is rushing vs the #6 ranked player in nation who’s committed to Alabamapic.twitter.com/qncqkK8dIa— Alex. (@Dubs4O8) August 31, 2021
Is your head already reeling? Well, buckle up, people, the story behind this explosive news is one heck of a bumpy ride.
According to Complex, this saga all started when Bishop Sycamore played against Florida’s IMG Academy on Sunday. Anyone who watched the game—as aired by ESPN—took special note of how, well, bad the “Ohio-affiliated” team was, especially when they ended up losing the game 58-0.
Their terrible playing was further thrown into the spotlight when ESPN announcers admitted live on air that they didn’t really do their due diligence in researching Bishop Sycamore’s credentials. Broadcaster Anish Shroff even confessed, “Bishop Sycamore told us they had a number of Division I prospects on their roster. To be a frank, a lot of that we could not verify.”
Director of Admissions – Bishop Sycamore pic.twitter.com/mnhLpOePHd— Bishop Sycamore c/o '95 (@Brian904Realtor) August 31, 2021
“They did not show up in our database, they did not show up in the databases of other recruiting services,” one of the announcers continues. “From what we’ve seen so far, this is not a fair fight.”
And the more the world got to see, the weirder the story got. Bleacher Report details how Bishop Sycamore has zero paper trail apart from having a website describing it as an online-only charter school (the “About” page doesn’t even have anything on it). The school also isn’t affiliated with the Ohio High School Athletic Association as it previously claimed
To top it all off, Fox News reports that the team’s coach, Leroy (Roy) Johnson, has an outstanding warrant for failure to appear in a domestic violence case that remains active as a criminal mischief charge.
Johnson also faces allegations of fraud for defaulting a loan amounting to $100,000 back in April 2018.