The Facade of Bishop Sycamore


Spencer Smith, Writer

On August 29th, 2021, ESPN televised a high school football game between IMG Academy of Florida and Bishop Sycamore of Ohio. The game would eventually end in a 58-0 defeat for Bishop Sycamore, leaving many, including those at ESPN, wondering how such a horrible team was allowed to play a game televised on ESPN. After the game, it was revealed that Bishop Sycamore was not who they actually claimed to be, and that the players that they were fielding weren’t high school-eligible players. 

Expanding upon this, the ineligible players were revealed to apparently be college dropouts mostly around the age of 24. Often, players for the opposing team at games would attempt to research the name “Bishop Sycamore” online to find information regarding the school, but would always end up finding nothing. With this revealed, Bishop Sycamore has since not released any public statements regarding the accusations, and hasn’t taken any action regarding their ineligible players, or their appearance on national television through ESPN. Though these events have been exposed recently, the facade has stretched on for some time, beginning in fall of 2018. Roy Johnson, the apparent head coach for Bishop Sycamore would form an online charter school named “Christians of Faith Academy”, with the initial goal of “helping at-risk youth.” 

However, after various instances regarding strange opponent choices as well as indirect and degrading interviews of personnel from Bishop Sycamore, it would be revealed that Bishop Sycamore was also involved in multiple accounts of fraud, specifically credit and debit card fraud. Ultimately, even though the facade of Bishop Sycamore was only recently discovered, the events surrounding the fake high school out of Ohio have been going on for longer than what most had previously thought.