Just about anyone can play on National TV. Yes, anyone. This past Friday ESPN aired a game between IMG Academy out of Flordia and Bishop Sycamore out of Ohio. According to reporting from multiple outlets, Bishop Sycamore lied about the skill levels of their athletes, which isn’t even the wildest thing about this story.
The IMG Academy is a high school that pretty much churns out college players. Bishop Sycamore had said, per reports, they also are a D1 factory with multiple top prospects. What transpired on ESPN was a 58-0 blowout, announcers mid-game pondering what they were seeing and apologizing to the viewing audience, raising many questions about the legitimacy of the Bishop Sycamore program.
For all intents and purposes, Bishop Sycamore is a fake high school, so it seems and they bluffed their way into a national TV game.
ESPN was had, but the story is even wilder and crazier than a team trying to get publicity for their athletes.
The football players on Bishop Sycamore played just two days earlier in Pennsylvania.
The Bishop Sycamore roster included non high school-aged players, with some ages ranging between 19 and 20, and a few junior college dropouts, according to SI.com. Their coach Roy Johnson, who has since been fired had an active warrant out of Delaware for his arrest relating to an unpaid assault fine from 2020, according to the Columbus Dispatch.
Texas powerhouse Duncanville was even duped by Bishop Sycamore and was scheduled to play them next week. The game has since been canceled leaving them with a bye week.
The story is much wilder and crazier than even the little I have shared. However, given the breadth and the scope of Bishop Sycamore’s brazen attempt to continue playing high school football, it should make people enjoy the UIL even though sometimes they can seem fairly arbitrary.
“The UIL around the state gets a bad rap from some people because they reprimand coaches or say a kid’s ineligible,” El Campo Head Coach Chad Worrell said. “Honestly if we didn’t have them policing us, we’d have more (Bishop Sycamore’s) in Texas. With the UIL patrolling and doing their jobs it’s times like this people should really appreciate what they do for our high school athletic scene in the state of Texas.”
Bishop Sycamore has produced countless hilarious memes from, fake schedules that include the Dillion Panthers and other fake high schools to NFL player Cam Newton being mentioned to join the team as a player and everything in between.
In the short two year history of Bishop Sycamore, they are 0-9. Oddly enough two of the losses were to IMG Academy - how come they didn’t catch this last year... This season they went winless in three games, and have no more games listed on Maxpreps. The word seems to be out and the wild story of Bishop Sycamore might have come to an end.
With big money tickling down closer and closer to high school football, the sad fact of while this saga might be over, chances are another story is around the corner.