Football season is back – and all the weirdness with it! ESPN recently aired a football game featuring a powerhouse program from Florida, IMG Academy vs Bishop Sycamore from Ohio. Immediately viewers could tell something was off. IMG Academy went on to win 58-0 very comfortably and after the game, the world began to dig into Bishop Sycamore and the facts are WILD!
Wild Facts Surrounding Bishop Sycamore
- Bishop Sycamore is an online school started in 2018 as Christians of Faith Academy. Started by Roy Johnson to help youths at risk and eventually became head coach of the Bishop Sycamore football team. State officials questioned if classes were actually happening and revoked the school’s license.
- 2019 comes around and YouthBuild Centurions is the new name for the rebranding of Christians of Faith Academy. Another online school featuring a football team that eventually became Bishop Sycamore. They played 1 full season and went 5-6 playing only 1 Ohio football team all while amassing controversy throughout the Ohio football community.
- Sept 23, 2019, a West Virginia school cancels a game against Bishop Sycamore once they learn they have 18+ year olds rostered.
- Sept 4th, 2020, played its first game recorded on MaxPreps, established high school football news network, losing 35-0 to a non-conference opponent. Apparently, there’s an article out there from athletic director Dave Brown speaking to The Independent about how he likes to keep his school’s info and details of the website and internet.
- Oct 16th, 2020, Bishop Sycamore loses to IMG in their season finale, 56-6, going 0-6 for the 2020 season. Seems like they had a rematch already set for next year.
- Aug 19th, 2021, Bishop Sycamore lose 38-0 to Archbishop Hoban in Ohio.
- Aug 27th, 2021, Bishop Sycamore lose 19-7 to Sto-Rox in Pennsylvania.
- Aug 29th, 2021, IMG Academy obliterates Bishop Sycamore on national TV with ESPN commentators questioning and openly stating doubts about the validity of Bishop Sycamore. One player had to be carted off after an injury during the game that wasn’t even rostered. Apparently, it is discovered Roy Johnson has an active arrest warrant out for him, most likely fraud charges going back to 2018.
Just to round out some details since then, the current listing for Bishop Sycamore online school is a housing duplex and the address listed on Max Preps is Franklin University’s library. Roy Johnson, the football coach, has been fired while shutting down their website as, closed for maintenance. Schools have begun cancelling their games vs the school amid controversy.
Now Complex has reached out to a former player and some of the insight into this team is DREADFUL!
- Lied to recruits about being featured on a show on Netflix and getting national spotlight to showcase the players. Going to be the “IMG of the West”.
- Players were initially housed in a hotel in Delaware, Ohio, for 5 months. Roy Johnson, who was considered more of an athletic director than coach, had been writing bounced checks to cover payments. Apparently had scammed a church for donations and financial support while actively recruiting 18+ for a high school football team.
- Players never had any continued education, or even classes to attend, and the football team rarely practiced. These are mostly high school kids with no classes or education being provided. After finding out they weren’t getting paid, 9 coaches left the team leaving only 1 coach and Roy Johnson, who considered himself more of an Athletic Director.
- For the last month and a half of the season, the remaining 35 players moved into new houses having to sleep on the floor and rob local stores to eat.
As funny as this is, it’s incredibly depressing how one man ruined education and sports for so many kids and almost ruined their lives as well. Numerous players transferred out after the season finished, having to repeat their junior or senior years since Bishop Sycamore had no verifiable educational credits.