ESPN tricked into televising football game of ‘fake’ high school Bishop Sycamore

IMG Academy. (USA Today)
IMG Academy. (USA Today) /

ESPN was apparently duped by broadcasting a high school football game featuring one team from a school that may or not actually exist.

While ESPN has televised high school sports for years now, the one between the IMG Academy and Bishop Sycamore has made national headway for all the wrong reasons.

Apparently, Bishop Sycamore is not actually a real school. It is supposedly an online-only prep school somewhere in Ohio. While it claims to be in Columbus, one look of the school’s address on Google is that of an office park. Though IMG Academy is a sports-focused prep school, it is a real place down in Bradenton, Florida. To make matters worse, IMG shredded Bishop Sycamore, 58-0.

ESPN was misled into thinking Bishop Sycamore featured a comparable rosters to that of the IMG Academy’s that was dripping with Division I-level talent.

ESPN televised a ‘fake’ high school in a football game vs. the IMG Academy

The shame in it all was high school-aged kids were playing in a game vs. one of the best programs in the country. Yes, they got national exposure, but this was not a fair fight. There were several dead giveaways that ESPN should have gone with another team over Bishop Sycamore. A program in its second year of existence that went 0-6 the year prior should have been a red flag.

And when the school’s website is little more than what appears to be a blog, that is another. So while it is a good idea to have a home-state team play the IMG Academy in the Hall of Fame Classic in Canton, somebody really fumbled the snap in setting this game up. Ohio is a talent-rich football state, so why not ask one of the better high school programs out there to play in this one?

Nobody likes a blowout, especially between two high school teams where one may not even exist.

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