ESPN getting duped!
A high school showcase game has sparked a high school sports scandal in one of the most remarkable stories of the year. The “school,” Bishop Sycamore, was scrutinized after a 58-0 loss on ESPN that left announcers appalled and fans bewildered at how and why a team this bad was allowed to compete on national television.
In the wake of those fairly innocuous questions, we’ve been led down a remarkable path that continues to get more bizarre with each passing day. If you’ve been struggling to understand this whole debacle, let’s break it down.
Roy Johnson, who would eventually become head coach of Bishop Sycamore, starts an online charter school called “Christians of Faith Academy.” The school has an identical goal as Bishop Sycamore would go on to have, helping at-risk youth. After scrutiny by state officials, it was impossible to determine whether classes were actually taking place, and the school’s license was eventually revoked. Johnson was investigated for alleged fraud.
“YouthBuild Centurions” is foundered in Columbus, Ohio — a rebranding of the Christians of Faith Academy. This was another online charter school with a football team which served as its public face. The school would later rebrand again, this time as “Bishop Sycamore.” A 2020 article by The Independent notes that Bishop Sycamore went 5-6 in its first season against a schedule that only features one Ohio school, adding that the school was not a member of the Ohio State Athletic Association, and has been a “lightning rod” for controversy in the local community.