Sports | September 7, 2021 12:00 pm

New Bishop Sycamore Football Coach Admits “We Are Not a School”

A strange story gets even weirder

Football helmets and balls on the ground during a high school practice
Football helmets and balls on the ground during a high school practice.
Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty

After taking over for former coach Roy Johnson following Bishop Sycamore getting destroyed 58-0 by IMG Academy of Florida last weekend, Tyren Jackson told WCMH-TV in Columbus it is a “misconception” that the school is actually a school.

Huh?

Despite the institution being referred to as Bishop Sycamore High School, Jackson told the station that his employer is really a “post-grad football academy” and that a “mistake on paperwork” is to blame for the confusion.

“We do not offer curriculum,” Jackson told the TV station. “We are not a school. That’s not what Bishop Sycamore is, and I think that’s what the biggest misconception about us was, and that was our fault. Because that was a mistake on paperwork.”

In the wake of Bishop Sycamore’s lopsided loss to IMG Academy, founder and director Andre Peterson told USA Today Sports that everything is above board at his institution.

“There’s nothing that I’ve gotten out of this that would constitute it as a scam because I’m not gaining anything financially from what we’re doing,” Peterson told the outlet. “The reality of it is that I have a son (Javan) that’s also in the program and has been in the program for four years. If it’s a scam and the kids are not going to school and not doing what they’re supposed to do, then I’m literally scamming myself. And most importantly, I’m hurting my own son. So when people say stuff like that … I would literally be taking my son’s future and throwing it in the trash.”

If Bishop Sycamore isn’t a school, it also isn’t much of a football program despite wanting to serve as a program that will help 19- and 20-year-old athletes catch the attention of college coaches who are looking for new recruits. Bishop Sycamore’s football team hasn’t won a game since launching in 2019 and has been outscored 342-49 in the program’s mounting amount of losses.

Those losses may soon come to an end as Ohio governor Mike DeWine has opened up a state investigation into Bishop Sycamore. And, per Jackson, Bishop Sycamore will not file the necessary paperwork to be declared a school for the current academic year.

Given all of these issues, it wouldn’t be a shock if Bishop Sycamore is done playing football, whether it is a school or not.