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Legitimacy of Bishop Sycamore Football in Question After ESPN Appearance

August 31, 2021 / Athletic AdministrationCoachingFootball
Ohio-based Bishop Sycamore High School made viral headlines on Monday evening following its football program losing 58-0 to IMG Academy.

The problem is it had little to do with the game, which had ESPN broadcast crews onsight for a national airing. While many fans expected a competitive matchup — IMG is annually one of the top programs in the country and boasts a handful of four- and five-star prospects from its Bradenton, FL home base — the game bordered on being dangerous for the Bishop Sycamore team that seemed completely overmatched.

sycamoreThe lopsided result drew many to question the legitimacy of the school’s program. A report from CBS Sports’ Chris Bengel detailed the red flags about the school and program. Below is an excerpt from his story.

Bishop Sycamore allegedly claims to make its home in Columbus, Ohio. However, according to The Sporting News, it appears that the school might not be real. Schools that boast the name “Bishop” usually are associated with the catholic church and are named in honor of local bishops or historic bishops. However, The Diocese of Columbus, Ohio, doesn’t have any Bishop Sycamores throughout its history.

According to the Massillon Independent, Bishop Sycamore is described as an online charter school that students can attend. In addition, the school isn’t listed in the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s directory of schools, which leaves more question marks.

Instead of being an OHSAA school, Bishop Sycamore is reportedly a school in the Texas Christian Athletic League, which is another flag. However, Bishop Sycamore isn’t the only non-Texas school in the conference as Ocean Springs Grace Baptist is a member and is located in Mississippi. It’s worth noting that Duncanville High School, which is located in Texas, does still have Bishop Sycamore on its schedule for the 2021 season.

As far as Bishop Sycamore’s experience on the gridiron goes, it’s questionable, to say the least.

The Centurions don’t exactly have much of a background to look back on. According to the school’s official website, there are five total blog posts regarding the football team dating to April 2021, but there hasn’t been one since May 21. If the school is about to begin the football season, you’d think that there would be some kind of season preview content.

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There was also a GoFundMe page in Bishop Sycamore’s name that was set up on Aug. 21, 2021. The description for the GoFundMe page said that Bishop Sycamore is a “new football program getting established in Columbus” and plays “a national schedule which is ranked 4th in the nation.” The campaign had raised just $140 of a $20,000 goal but is no longer accepting donations.

Bishop Sycamore’s roster is also extremely questionable. For example, quarterback Jailen Knight got the start against IMG Academy and his Twitter account states that he is a three-star prospect in the 2023 class. However, Knight’s Hudl page says that he plays for Perry Hall High School in Baltimore. Knight also has a 247Sports recruiting profile that lists him as an unrecruited quarterback who graduated in 2021. Meanwhile, quarterback Trillian Harris is listed on Hudl as a senior quarterback from Bishop Sycamore. However, Harris’ 247Sports profile lists him as a California quarterback in the 2021 class who wasn’t recruited.

To read the full report from CBS Sports about Bishop Sycamore, click here.