By Micah Henson
ESPN, the leader in sports, right? If that is true, how did a "fake" high school from Columbus, Ohio make its way into a nationally televised high school football game? Great Question. This is the story of Bishop Sycamore, an “online high school with several D1 prospects”.
Credibility is everything. You need to prove credibility to get a job, get a loan, and pretty much anything that involves a public platform. However, ESPN accepted a “trust me bro” attitude in this case though. IMG academy, one of the best programs in the country for football, accepted a game from Bishop Sycamore because why not? They were told that they had several D1 caliber athletes and were given film from last year's games. They seemed like a team to play. However, they were not the ones that had to broadcast. They did not have to know the names of the players or their age. That’s ESPN’s job. If ESPN had looked into it a little bit further, they would have realized eventually, these players are not high school aged. They are JUCO dropouts with a coach that had a pending arrest warrant for fraud to his name in a “high school” that has no academic plan in place. All of that is public domain. It’s not that hard to find out.
So, how exactly did Bishop Sycamore pull it off? Well, it is said that the coach, as we’ve learned, has fraudulent behavior. He would declare to these large schools that he has several D1 prospects, wait for an answer. If the team says yes, he says that they will need necessities when they get to the location of
the game. The team gives him money for hotels and food, however, he does not use it for food, housing or travel at all. He uses it to pay his players and himself. Instead, they rent a bus and a small house for the night and they all sleep there. It is unclear how he pulled off the rest of the game connections like roster but hey, he did it.
So how did the game go exactly? Well, IMG, being the powerhouse they are, blew out these JUCO dropouts 58-0. It was a whole mess, but absolutely hilarious. The announcers were given a “roster”, one that was formatted like a sign up sheet. 5 names, each under the headings of positions, with no numbers to correlate with the players. Now, why would they not put the numbers with the players? Well, because the coaches didn’t even know who each number was. During halftime, while BS was down 30-0 have you, the announcers decided to try to figure it out. They asked an assistant coach who number 18 was, and the assistant coach shrugged his shoulders. He had no idea. The coach didn’t even know his players and what numbers they were wearing. In their defense though, it was shown that they shared their gear between the offense and defense, which was shown when a defensive end tossed his helmet to a wide receiver. But yeah, the Bishop Sycamore team knew what they were doing, but at the same time they did not.
So, what has happened since the game? The answer is so much. Like, it’s amazing all that has come out from the game. Starting off with the coach, he has yet to be detained for that arrest warrant, past players have said he asked them to beat up homeless people, he gets his plays mainly from madden, and oh! He has now been fired by the “principal” of the school, who just so happens to also be one of the assistant coaches on the team! The story of Bishop Sycamore is far from over. The Ohio State School Organization is looking into what is going on with this “online high school”. We do not have much more information about the situation left to talk about, but it will definitely come out soon enough. And Hey! Maybe we will see an ESPN 30 for 30 or E:60 about it soon!