Bishop Sycamore Officially Deemed ‘Not a School’ in Ohio Department of Education Investigation

The Ohio Department of Education has released its investigation into Bishop Sycamore, which went viral this fall after fooling ESPN into airing a game.

Ohio Department of Education concludes investigation into Bishop Sycamore

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Ohio Department of Education concludes investigation into Bishop Sycamore

The Ohio Department of Education on Friday released the findings of its investigation into Bishop Sycamore, the alleged “fake” high school from Columbus, Ohio that went viral in August after fooling ESPN into airing one of its games.

The 79-page report from the Department of Education concluded, “There is no evidence that Bishop Sycamore High School is meeting the minimum standards for non-chartered, non-tax supported schools.”

“Bishop Sycamore officials were given the opportunity to provide additional information to demonstrate the school’s legitimacy and compliance,” the report adds. “They declined to do so. … Without the clarification from the school to prove its compliance, common sense leads one to the most obvious explanation: Bishop Sycamore is not a school as it purports on paper to be.”

In a statement, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said investigators found no evidence that Bishop Sycamore enrolled students, employed teachers, or had a physical location.

“This report confirms numerous disturbing allegations regarding Bishop Sycamore,” DeWine said. “Ohio families should be able to count on the fact that our schools educate students and don’t exist in name only as a vehicle to play high school sports. When an Ohio student goes to school, they deserve a quality education to prepare them for success in the future.”

DeWine went on to request that Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost determine whether criminal charges should be filed.

“I am today asking Attorney General Yost and other offices with jurisdiction to determine whether the alleged deception by Bishop Sycamore violated any civil or criminal laws,” DeWine said. “I intend to work with the Department of Education and legislative leaders to implement the recommendations contained in this thorough report.”

The news arrives more than three months after ESPN aired a high school football game between Florida’s powerhouse IMG Academy and the now infamous Bishop Sycamore, whose 58-0 loss—and the way it played out on national television—raised serious questions about the team’s legitimacy. 

Just two days after Bishop Sycamore’s Aug. 29 game against IMG Academy aired on ESPN, Aaron Boyd, who claims to be the first-ever player recruited by the school, sat down for an interview with Complex.

While discussing his time at Bishop Sycamore, Boyd revealed that the school, which had no physical location, housed its players at a hotel for several months.

“When I first moved out there, we were staying in a hotel in Delaware [Ohio]. We were staying there for, like, five months,” Boyd explained. “Five months. Didn’t have no housing. All the players came to find out we never paid the hotel. [The school was] writing them bounced checks. The head coach of Bishop Sycamore wasn’t the head coach. He was, like, an athletic director. He was the n***a that was behind all of it. He was writing bounced checks for everything. For everything. We never paid for anything.”

Of course, the conclusion of the Ohio Department of Education’s investigation is not the end of the saga of Bishop Sycamore. In September, it was announced that the school would be the focus of an upcoming documentary series, with Kevin Hart’s HartBeat Productions joining forces with Complex Networks, Klutch Originals, and Haven Entertainment to make it happen.

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