High School Featured On ESPN Is Called ‘A Scam’ By Ohio Department of Education

Bishop Sycamore’s 58-0 ESPN-televised loss prompted the department to investigate.

A school in Ohio, which boasted a top-tier football program but has just one enrolled student, is being called “a scam” by the Ohio Department of Education.

Columbus-area Bishop Sycamore High School was found to be deficient in meeting minimum standards for academic offerings and student safety according to ESPN. The school’s report filed with the department for the 2021-2022 school year listed its physical address as a home in a residential neighborhood.

ESPN reported that during a call with a department official last month, Bishop Sycamore administrator Andre Peterson characterized his program as a way to get more exposure for football players who were having trouble getting into colleges.

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Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said he is asking the attorney general and other officials to determine whether any laws were broken. DeWine said he will work with state education officials and lawmakers to enact changes recommended by the department to avoid similar situations in the future.

ODE started looking into the school after the team's 58-0 loss to Florida-based powerhouse IMG Academy in August was televised on ESPN.

Bishop Sycamore identified itself to the ODE as a "non-chartered, non-tax-supported school." This is a category that is largely outside of the department's oversight and that allows for bypassing certain typical systems of operation because of "truly held religious beliefs." But the department said it couldn't determine whether Bishop Sycamore had such beliefs.

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