Sports

ESPN Put A Sketchy Online Prep School Up Against The Best High School Football Team In The Country And Even The Announcers Were Appalled

On Sunday, ESPN televised a high school football game featuring one of the nation’s most well known programs, reigning national champions IMG Academy, and a little known squad from Ohio that few had ever heard of, Bishop Sycamore.

The end result was a 58-0 bloodbath in which IMG dominated Bishop Sycamore in an entirely non-competitive ballgame that had everyone shocked at how that game ever got scheduled, much less placed on national television.

Even the announcers for the game, Anish Shroff and Tom Luginbill, were appalled this game got onto ESPN’s airwaves, going so far as to note they lied about having D-1 prospects on the roster — which, in fairness, should’ve been much better vetted by ESPN before agreeing to broadcast the game.

Zach Barnett of Football Scoop did a deep dive into exactly how strange this situation was and how it even happened, a story that is well worth a complete read. The basic gist is, Bishop Sycamore is an online, sports-centric prep school that is very new and went 0-6 a year ago (which Football Scoop says is just the second season on record). No recruiting services have the school in their database, and there is very little in the way of information about the school and their website is, well, not much.

However, nothing is quite as wild as the fact that it appears Bishop Sycamore played and lost to a team from Pennsylvania on Friday night, less than 48 hours before playing against arguably the best program in the country.

It is an insane story and Barnett’s piece provides a tremendous look at how big of a failure this was by a number of parties to lead to this game ending up on national television, and that even the announce crew felt disgusted by it is an indicator of just how bad it was.

UPDATE: ESPN released an official statement regarding Bishop Sycamore making it onto their high school football schedule. “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.”

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