ESPN occasionally focuses on high school football programs that are known for high quality and producing national prospects. Still, even though Ohio’s Bishop Sycamore is definitely not one of them, ESPN aired the school’s game, anyway.
Now, ESPN is claiming that it was duped into airing the school’s game.
The cable sports network has, for instance, aired the games of IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. The private boarding school is well known for its top-notch sports department that has turned out proficient players and was even named the “nation’s top high school football facility” by MaxPreps.
But Bishop Sycamore has no such accolades to its credit. And ESPN has an explanation for why it was airing a Bishop Sycamore game: it was scammed. Ohio sports reporter Tony Gerdeman noted that ESPN had a message for viewers of its Bishop Sycamore game.
“Bishop Sycamore told us they had a number of Division I prospects on their roster. To be frank, a lot of that we could not verify,” Gerdeman tweeted, adding that ESPN was explaining how it had been “duped” by the school. Gerdeman later deleted that particular tweet but added in another that, “ESPN is spending the rest of this game apologizing for this game and praying for the safety of the Bishop Sycamore players involved.”
ESPN is spending the rest of this game apologizing for this game and praying for the safety of the Bishop Sycamore players involved.
— Tony Gerdeman (@TonyGerdeman) August 29, 2021
Even during the broadcast, color analyst Tom Luginbill was not only saying on the air that the school had “scammed” ESPN into airing its game, but the players were so badly trained that he worried they might get hurt on the field.
ESPN’s commendations WENT IN on Bishop Sycamore Ὀ pic.twitter.com/RCJv46gOA3
— Kirk Barton (@kirk_barton) August 29, 2021
Indeed, the Bishop Sycamore High School team has been so bad historically that it only has five wins… in the football program’s entire history. And last year, one of its losing scores was pretty blatant at 227 to 42.
Many have wondered why ESPN just took the word of the “scamming” coaches and didn’t appear to just do any simple journalistic research to learn a bit about the school football program’s history before nationally televising them against one of the nation’s premier programs.
Needless to say, people on Twitter had thoughts:
And then ESPN cries about being tricked on national television. Your company does recruiting rankings. Does Styles, Hicks, Powers, Aller, Wagner, Montgomery, Vernon play for Bishop Sycamore? Do some freaking research.
— Stephen Jacks (@Jacks_A_Jumpin) August 30, 2021
So Bishop Sycamore's coaches received $10,000 for appearing on ESPN? Hopefully that fraud will be dealt with.
— Anthony Wireman (@awireman) August 30, 2021
The funniest part of the Bishop Sycamore fiasco is that any prep sports writer in country could’ve provided ESPN with a better matchup at 1/10th the consultancy fee.
— John Walters (@jdubs1966) August 30, 2021
"Any way you slice it, it was extremely dangerous for #BishopSycamore to be out there. Paragon Marketing Group, the schedule makers, told Awful Announcing they didn’t know the team had played just two days before the @espn game, and would have cancelled it had they been aware." https://t.co/4lwb8yIe3v
— Eric M. Scharf (@emscharf) August 30, 2021
This is what happens when ESPN gets duped into airing a high school football game between the most talented team in the country and an online charter school nobody has heard of, went 0-6 last year, and lied about its roster to get on TV. pic.twitter.com/QUwM8BQKiY
— Ben Koo (@bkoo) August 29, 2021
Bishop Sycamore is not an accurate representation of Ohio HS football. It’s not an OHSAA member. There’s far superior schools that could really and truly represent us here in the great state of Ohio. Sorry this game is on ESPN.
— James Heath (@JRockfordHeath) August 29, 2021
Imagine that. Bishop Sycamore didn't give the TV guys an accurate or complete roster.
This is the "roster" we were given when they played Archbishop Hoban last week… ♂️♂️ pic.twitter.com/e51OJCAuOA
— Ryan (@Isley23) August 29, 2021
Did Biden's intelligence and military advisors assure ESPN that Bishop Sycamore was well equipped and trained, and stood an excellent chance of defeating IMG Academy? https://t.co/BawsBn5nq5
— All school (@allschool) August 30, 2021
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