Bishop Sycamore HC Tyren Jackson Says 'We Are Not a School,' Cites Paperwork Mistake

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 7, 2021

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 04: An equipment bag with footballs on the Alabama sidelines during the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Miami Hurricanes on September 4, 2021 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.   (Photo by David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Bishop Sycamore head football coach Tyren Jackson, who replaced the fired Roy Johnson, said the program is "not a school" as the fallout continues from its nationally televised 58-0 loss to IMG Academy.

Jackson spoke to Jamie Ostroff of NBC4 Columbus and said, "We do not offer curriculum. 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."

Ostroff explained NBC4 investigated Bishop Sycamore, which was apparently a school based in the Columbus area with an elite football program, and found "no actual school building or curriculum associated" with it "even though it was identified by the state of Ohio as a 'non-charter, non-tax supported school' during the previous school year."

Jackson said he was unaware of what happened when Bishop Sycamore filed with the Ohio Department of Education in the past because it was before he was hired but explained it doesn't plan on filing paperwork for the current school year.

This comes after Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said he asked the Ohio Department of Education to investigate the situation.

"I don't have any problem cooperating, letting them know whatever they want to know and things of that nature," Jackson said. "That stuff should never had happened the way it happened. I'm willing to take responsibility for it and say that it was a mistake. It's something that shouldn't have been that way, and that's something that I have to address stepping into this role."

The road to this largely started when the game against IMG Academy did not live up to its hype as a showdown between two elite programs.

ESPN announcer Anish Shroff even said on Twitter that Bishop Sycamore "had no business being in that game" and was putting the players at risk:

Anish Shroff @AnishESPN

Sorry. They had no business being in that game today. None. I feel bad for the kids. Player health and safety was at risk today. It was uncomfortable for anyone who watched. <a href="https://t.co/Eq39vdywLm">https://t.co/Eq39vdywLm</a>

That risk was even clearer when Ben Koo of Awful Announcing reported the team played two days prior.

ESPN released a statement on its decision to schedule the game with Paragon and broadcast it: "We regret that this happened and have discussed it with Paragon, which secured the matchup and handles the majority of our high school event scheduling. They have ensured us that they will take steps to prevent this kind of situation from happening moving forward."

Teams that were scheduled to play Bishop Sycamore later this season canceled the games.