Bishop Sycamore Documentary To Air On HBO in 2023
HBO has announced that it is in production on the documentary BS HIGH, which focuses on the Bishop Sycamore high school football scandal.
Back in August of 2021, a football game that aired on ESPN between high school powerhouse IMG Academy and an unknown high school team out of Columbus, Ohio called the Bishop Sycamore Centurions made headlines after ESPN announcers began questioning the legitimacy of the Bishop Sycamore team.
Bishop Sycamore suffered a blowout loss to IMG (58-0). Throughout the game, the ages of the players and qualifications of the coaches attracted the attention of national media.
When it was revealed that the head coach, Roy Johnson, had a warrant out for his arrest and some of the players were 19 and 20 years old, there was a firestorm on social media.
Upon further investigation by multiple news outlets, many began to wonder: was Bishop Sycamore even a school? This led to a massive investigation by the Ohio State Department of Education. BS owner Andre Peterson spoke with League of Justice about the investigation and scandal back in January.
How could a suspected “fake” school make its way onto ESPN?
League of Justice Founder Amy Dash, the legal analyst for Audacy and CBS Sports Radio was among the journalists who set out to find the truth. Dash has covered sports legal scandals for a decade on national TV and radio.
Speaking directly to Roy Johnson on many occasions, as well as BS owner Andre Peterson and dozens of players on the team, Dash discovered compelling stories and insider knowledge. Dash’s production company had talent producer Omar Michaud (producer of A Quiet Storm: The Ron Artest Story) travel to Ohio to embed with many of the players a week after the game, as the team began to unravel, to better understand the behind the scenes dynamics.
“My focus was on the players and their stories,” said Dash. “I saw them defending themselves against an onslaught of misinformation and quickly learned from speaking with them in-depth, that a lot of what was being reported in the media was not entirely accurate. The public did not understand the whole backstory or the circumstances the kids were in. While there was a comedic angle to this in the media, there was a very serious side and a variety of unique perspectives not being covered. On top of the individual stories, and the legal concerns surrounding the operation, there is also a whole high school football industry operating in a way that is not fully understood by most people.”
Dash spent months getting to know a variety of players and gathering assets before finally teaming up with an esteemed lineup of veteran producers and directors who had already amassed an impressive amount of information and interviews, including securing exclusive access to document the personal story of head coach Roy Johnson.
Serving as a consulting producer on the soon to be released Documentary, Dash shared her information and access to many of the central players with Academy Award®-winning directors Travon Free and Martin Desmond Roe (“Two Distant Strangers”).
However, Free, Roe and the films producers discovered that the ESPN game was just the beginning of the story as their cameras began to roll. The documentary is its own journey!
The film is executive produced by veteran filmmakers Adam McKay and Todd Schulman for Hyperobject Industries, Michael Strahan and Constance Schwartz-Morini’s SMAC Entertainment, Jay Peterson, Todd Lubin and Jack Turner for Boat Rocker’s Matador Content, Alex Mather and Ankur Chawla for The Athletic, and Spencer Paysinger for Moore Street Productions.
The powerhouse team uncovered a gripping story that is sure to keep viewers on the edge of their seats when it debuts on HBO and is streamed on HBO Max in 2023.
“It was an honor and a privilege to be able to contribute to this documentary in a small way and work with so many incredibly talented and highly respected producers and directors. Travon, Martin, Todd, Jack, Spencer, SMAC and team really value the players’ perspectives and are committed to covering this story objectively and professionally,” said Dash. “I am looking forward to seeing what they discovered on their own journey documenting Roy and speaking with so many people affected by this fascinating story.”
Here is an exclusive sneak peek: