Someone has to make a movie out of this. A phantom high school that appeared Sunday on a nationally televised ESPN football game now has fired its head coach and raised questions as to whether it even exists as an academic institution.
Bishop Sycamore of Ohio came to national attention when it lost 58-0 to football power IMG Academy of Bradenton, FL. During the game, it was apparent that the Ohio school was badly outclassed, despite claiming that it had a roster full of top college prospects. Even the game’s broadcast announcers openly questioned the team’s credentials during the game.
It later came out that Bishop Sycamore was playing its second game in three days. Further investigation revealed the school’s listed address was an indoor sports facility, which a spokesman for the building said was a front for a client who would sometimes rent field time. It then was determined that the school was not registered with Ohio’s Department of Education, prompting Gov. Mike DeWine to call for an investigation.
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The school today announced it was firing its head coach, Roy Johnson, in the wake of the debacle. It also saw games against other high school powerhouses scheduled for later this year canceled.
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The firing might be the least of Johnson’s worries. He reportedly faces an active bench warrant in Ohio for failure to appear in a domestic violence case that later was reduced to a criminal mischief charge and is scheduled for a trial for allegedly defaulting on a $100,000 loan issued by First Merchants Bank.
Sunday’s game on ESPN quickly deteriorated for Bishop Sycamore, prompting rare in-game criticism.
“You look at IMG, and this is the most talented prep team in the country,” ESPN announcer Anish Shroff said during the second quarter of Sunday’s game. “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.
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