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Friday Night Lies

Friday Night Lies ›

By Andrew King, By Ben Ferree

The riveting true story of a sham school run by longtime con men whose scheme crashed and burned live on television.

In August of 2021, a high school football team became the talk of the nation. A featured matchup on ESPN pitted national powerhouse IMG Academy against a school called Bishop Sycamore—a program with an unfamiliar name, a barely functional website, and a long list of baggage.

The supposedly elite Bishop Sycamore lost 56-0, embarrassing broadcasters and setting social media alight. Within days, the program fired its coach, deleted its website, and prompted a string of official investigations.

The story of the school, however, began three years earlier when an unknown program called COF Academy launched in Columbus, Ohio. Journalist Andrew King and whistleblower Ben Ferree pushed for years to expose this exploitation of high school football and education systems which left vulnerable students in the crossfire and culminated in a series of lawsuits and criminal charges.

Readers will learn how a pair of old friends hatched a disastrous plan in this rigorously reported tale of ambition, greed and the allure of sports.

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