A high school football team allegedly lied to ESPN to have their football game played on national TV, Complex reports.
Bishop Sycamore is accused of falsifying information about the legitimacy of the school. Over the weekend, they played high school powerhouse IMG Academy and lost in a 58-0 defeat. The staggering loss raised questions about the level of talent the school claimed to have on its team.
According to Awful Announcing, Bishop Sycamore is not recognized as a legitimate high school by the Ohio High School Athletic Association and their “physical location, practice facilities, and roster eligibility could not be verified.” To add insult to injury, there’s never been a Bishop Sycamore in the history of The Diocese of Columbus, Ohio.
In an official statement, ESPN addressed the matter.
“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,” ESPN said in an official statement. “They have ensured us that they will take steps to prevent this kind of situation from happening moving forward.”
After the game, Anish Shroff, who gave commentary during the game for ESPN, took to Twitter to share his thoughts on what had taken place.
“Sorry,” his tweet read. “They had no business being in that game today. None. I feel bad for the kids. Player health and safety was at risk today. It was uncomfortable for anyone who watched.”
Sorry. They had no business being in that game today. None. I feel bad for the kids. Player health and safety was at risk today. It was uncomfortable for anyone who watched. https://t.co/Eq39vdywLm
— Anish Shroff (@AnishESPN) August 29, 2021
Shroff acknowledged that ESPN didn’t have the evidence to support Bishop Sycamore’s claims that its team was filled with Division I talent.
“Bishop Sycamore told us they had a number of Division I prospects on their roster, and to be frank, a lot of that, we could not verify,” he said. “They did not show up in our database, they did not show up in the databases of other recruiting services.”
“So, OK, that’s what you’re telling us, fine, that’s how we take it in. From what we’ve seen so far, this is not a fair fight, and there’s got to be a point where you’re worried about health and safety,” he added.
Besides allegations of the school not being legitimate, Roy Johnson, the team’s coach, allegedly has an active arrest warrant for fraud charges. Additionally, many of the young men who played in the game are said to have already graduated high school.
In a post-game interview, Johnson said his team “won by even being able to be here.”