PITTSBURGH — A football team from Columbus, Ohio reportedly lied in order to play a televised game on ESPN, allegedly features junior college players, has a coach wanted at one time for fraud and played Sto-Rox High School days earlier at the Wolvarena in Woodland Hills, outside of Pittsburgh.
According to SBNation, officials from the Bishop Sycamore football program told ESPN that the team was fielding players with a number Division I college football offers. There apparently was no vetting of these claims by anyone at ESPN and Sycamore was allowed to take the field in a televised game against arguably the top high school football program in the country.
Awful Announcing reported that all the games on ESPN are scheduled through a third party marketing agency. A spokesperson for the agency said the game would have been cancelled had they known about the Friday night match against Sto-Rox.
TribLive.com reported the team played Sto-Rox High School on Friday night, three days before the televised game on ESPN. Sto-Rox would go on to win the game 19-7. Sycamore dropped the televised game 58-0. Videos of the two games showed the same players playing the same positions.
According to Max Preps, the school is based out of Columbus, Ohio and is an online-only charter school. The school’s official website features a few blog post style articles and has a completely empty “about us” page. The school is not listed as a member of the Ohio High School Athletic Association. Other reports have not been able to verify the school’s physical location, practice facilities and roster eligibility.
Awful Announcing reports people have pointed out that Sycamore has fielded postgraduate players and players who have played in junior college games. The coach, Roy Johnson, reportedly also was wanted at one point on fraud charges after bilking investors out of $100,000.
Channel 11 has reached out to Sto-Rox and WPIAL officials about the Friday night game and these allegations. There was no one available for comment. Channel 11 will reach out again during business hours.
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