top of page

ESPN tricked by online charter school

TUES. | 10-26-21 | SPORTS

     Following humiliation on national television in August, Bishop Sycamore has become one of the most talked-about high schools in the country. The school, which is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, was defeated by IMG Academy in a 58-0 loss during the football game, prompting many to doubt whether Bishop Sycamore was a legitimate school or not. 

     Prior to the game, Bishop Sycamore told ESPN that they had numerous top recruits. ESPN was unable to confirm this, causing the broadcasters to conclude that the

58 2.jpg

Graphic by Forbes Hall

network had been tricked. Both ESPN and Paragon, the corporations that schedule and deliver high school matches to ESPN, said they were uninformed that Bishop Sycamore had played a game two days before, and that the team didn't have the amount of highly recruited prospects they claimed to have when the match was arranged.

     There were several instances where a player was hurt and the broadcasters couldn't even announce their name because they didn't appear to be on the roster. This was the point where they became suspicious because it became difficult to obtain information about the team and its players, including their rosters.

     ESPN said in a statement: "We regret that this happened and have discussed it with Paragon, which secured the matchup and handles the majority of our high school event scheduling. They have assured us that they will take steps to prevent this kind of situation from happening moving forward." Since the incident, ESPN and Paragon have taken every effort possible to rectify the problem and guarantee that something like this never happens again.

     A representative for Paragon told The Columbus Dispatch that the roster they received a month before the game was not the same as the one for Sunday's game. In the days leading up to a game, the company will most certainly need to double-check rosters, according to the spokesman.

     The address of the school is stated as a recreation center in Columbus. According to the Dispatch, the Ohio Department of Education does not classify Bishop Sycamore as a charter school, but it was listed as a non-chartered, non-tax sponsored institution last year.

     Following the game, many accusations were directed towards the coach at the time, Roy Johnson. Bishop Sycamore fired Johnson as a result of the situation. The decision was made public on Tuesday by the school. Andre Peterson, the school's director, claimed "a number of factors" played a role in Johnson's dismissal, including the coach's injury tracking and a pending fraud allegation.

     All of this for what? Why did they perform against one of the top-ranked powerhouse schools in the country? Bishop allegedly did all of this to gain attention, according to rumors. They lied in order to be on television. I truly don't understand the benefit of doing this because it not only drew negative attention to themselves, but it also drew negative and unwanted attention to ESPN and Paragon. Bishop Sycamore went viral after scheduling a game against the country's number two ranked team, IMG academy. Espn and Paragon were thoroughly searched for bishops qualification. This couldn't possibly be the kind of attention they were looking for. I would never go through all of that trouble for the sake of being humiliated.

bottom of page