COLUMBUS, Ohio — More than three months after a mysterious Ohio high school football team's appearance on national television raised questions about the school's legitimacy, an investigation by the Ohio Department of Education has concluded, finding no evidence that Bishop Sycamore High School actually enrolled students or had a physical location.
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The full results of the investigation can be found here.
In a statement, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said that he has tasked Attorney General Dave Yost with determining whether criminal charges should be filed.
“This report confirms numerous disturbing allegations regarding Bishop Sycamore. There is no evidence that the ‘school’ enrolled students this year, had a physical location for classes to meet, employed teachers, nor offered any academic program meeting minimum standards," 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.
“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. I intend to work with the Department of Education and legislative leaders to implement the recommendations contained in this thorough report.”
In September, Bishop Sycamore received national attention following a nationally televised game against Florida power IMG Academy at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton. During the contest, which IMG Academy won 58-0, ESPN commentators admitted they couldn't verify that the team's roster possessed several Division 1 prospects as it had claimed. The viral clip has led to a number of revelations about the school, including that it had played another game just two days prior to its matchup vs. IMG Academy.
In the days and weeks that followed, more accusations about the schools legitimacy were made, with DeWine calling for an investigation into the matter. In September, Bishop Sycamore's founder, Andre Peterson, told 10TV that he has dismissed the team's coach, Roy Johnson, but defended the "mostly online" school.
"I believe that we’ve done what we needed to do as far as making sure that these young men are educated," he said.