Mysterious Football Team Now Under Investigation

Ohio governor calls for probe into online high school that played on national television
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 1, 2021 3:20 AM CDT
Updated Sep 4, 2021 8:45 AM CDT
Probe Ordered Into Mysterious Bishop Sycamore Football Team
In this Dec. 13, 2019, file photo, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine speaks during an interview at the Governor's Residence in Columbus, Ohio.   (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

The mysterious football team whose blowout loss to Florida's IMG Academy was broadcast on ESPN is now the subject of an investigation. Bishop Sycamore is supposedly an online high school based in Columbus, Ohio, but it's not clear how it ended up on national television playing one of the best high school football teams in the country—indeed, it's not clear whether Bishop Sycamore is even actually a school at all. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine says the state needs to determine whether Bishop Sycamore, which has an indoor sports facility listed as its address, meets minimum state educational standards, reports. He has ordered a probe into the school.

Meanwhile, the team's coach, Roy Johnson, parted ways with the school Tuesday, the school's director tells USA Today, though he insists Johnson was not fired. Johnson was previously the spokesperson for another football-focused school in Ohio, Christians of Faith Academy, which was shut down by the state's Department of Education in 2018 because it was not a functioning school, the Washington Post reports. More on the bizarre story:

  • See the Post for an in-depth look at the history of Bishop Sycamore, Johnson, and how the school managed to score the televised game against a top-ranked team.
  • Fox News also looks at Johnson, specifically at his legal troubles—there's an active warrant out for him, and he faces several civil lawsuits.
  • Complex speaks to a former Bishop Sycamore player who wants to expose the program's dark secrets, and Awful Announcing speaks to the parent of a former player.
  • The school originally had several other high-profile games lined up, but teams are starting to back out of those, USA Today reports.
  • Bishop Sycamore memes are, of course, in abundance. WDTN rounds up a few here.
(Read more strange stuff stories.)

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