A Ohio High School Duped ESPN To Play On National TV

A group of people in uniform

Anybody who has any basic knowledge of high school football, knows about IMG Academy.

It’s a private school that recruits the best high school football players in the country to create a super team of four to five star athletes, poised for big time colleges and inevitably the NFL.

They constantly have their games televised nationally on ESPN, and they only play other schools who also have top tier high school football programs.

However, this Sunday was a different story…

Bishop Sycamore, a high school located in Columbus, Ohio, convinced IMG to put them on their schedule, as they told the school and ESPN that they have a number of division one prospects on the team.

Without even second-guessing, IMG and ESPN took the coaching staff of Bishop Sycamore’s word and ran with it.

Well, it became obvious pretty quickly that something didn’t add up, as IMG went up 30-0 in the second quarter, and Sycamore barely had enough players to complete a full roster.

Finally, the truth slapped the ESPN announcers across the face. Midway through the second quarter, they released this statement:

“You look at IMG and this is the most talented prep team in the country. 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.

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.

I already am worried about it. I think this could potentially be dangerous given the circumstances and the mismatch that we have here.

And quite honestly, Bishop Sycamore doesn’t have not only the front-line players, but they don’t have the depth in case something were to happen to their roster with a kid or two here throughout the remaining two quarters of this football game.”

Needless to say, IMG boat-raced Sycamore to a final score of 58-0, and it was obvious they were taking it easy on ’em.

ESPN released a statement to Yahoo Sports a day later:

“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.

They have ensured us that they will take steps to prevent this kind of situation from happening moving forward.”

I decided to do a little research on this Bishop Sycamore team myself, and my first thought was:

“How in the ever livin’ hell did ESPN let this slip through the cracks?”

In about five minutes, I found out that they didn’t even have a football team until 2018, and have compiled a record of 5-22 over the past three years, going 0-6 last year.

None of their athletes can be found on any recruiting sites AND… they had just played a game two days before this one was scheduled.

Somehow, ESPN decided to simply take the Bishop Sycamore’s coach’s word about having “several D1 prospects,” and ran with it.

I’m sure they’ll be doing a little more research from here on out.

Pretty wild a tiny school out of Ohio was able to dupe the “Worldwide Leader In Sports.”

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock