Ohio Governor Launches Investigation Into Bishop Sycamore Football Program

Mike DeWine

Photo: Getty Images

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has launched an investigation into Bishop Sycamore, a high school program that has been tied to several nefarious allegations.

“Like many Ohioans, I am concerned by the recent reports and questions raised about Bishop Sycamore," DeWine told NBC.

"While this weekend’s football game brought concerns about the health and safety of players, it also raised red flags about the school’s operations."

Bishop Sycamore attracted the attention of major news outlets after playing against football powerhouse IMG Academy. The Ohio high school lost 58-0 on the field, but their biggest defeat came in the broadcast booth. During the game, ESPN commentators Anish Shroff and Tom Luginbill noticed that many of the things that they had been told about the school were not true.

"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, okay, 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," the two announcers said, according to Awful Announcing.

Shroff and Luginbill's comments prompted several news outlets to look further into the school further. After a day or so, everything came to light. USA Today discovered that the team had fewer than 35 players and junior college athletes were often recruited to play. Not to mention, Bishop Sycamore had played two games in three days and the head coach has an active arrest warrant.

"We didn’t go to school. We never went to school. I can’t lie—they tried once. They took us to a community library. One day. It was already October—the season was about to be over. It was like at this point, 'Well, s---, I’m not going to school.' Y’all haven’t put me through school this whole time,” former Bishop Sycamore recruit Aaron Boyd said during a recent interview.

"For the last month and a half, we had about 35 players. We moved into these new houses. For that month and a half, we [were] all sleeping on the floor. We had to go rob Meijers, Krogers, Walmart because that’s the only way we can eat."

The story of Bishop Sycamore quickly gained steam and trended nationally on Twitter for several hours. As a result, the authorities stepped in.

"Schools like Bishop Sycamore have an obligation under Ohio law to meet certain minimum standards. Whether Bishop Sycamore meets these standards is not clear," DeWine added.

"I have asked the Ohio Department of Education to conduct an investigation into Bishop Sycamore to ensure compliance with Ohio law and to ensure the school is providing the educational opportunities Ohio students deserve."

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