SMAC Entertainment, a production company cofounded by Hall of Fame defensive end Michael Strahan, has obtained the exclusive rights and access to Bishop Sycamore's former coach Roy Johnson's story for all film and television projects, per a release.
The company plans on using Johnson to bolster its production of a documentary on the "high school football team" that swept the nation.
SMAC is partnering with Matador Content, another production company, in the venture. Bishop Sycamore identified itself as a high school and made headlines after a 58–0 blowout loss to IMG Academy on Sept. 29 in a nationally televised game on ESPN. During the game, ESPN broadcasters admitted they were not able to confirm whether Bishop Sycamore's players were as highly touted as they claimed—having no luck finding them in recruiting databases.
After the game, questions around the team's and school's legitimacy were raised. The school's address is listed as a P.O. Box and it claimed to be based in Columbus, Ohio, but was not affiliated with the Ohio High School Athletic Association. The roster also had players as old as 19 or 20 who had possibly already played in junior college football games.
Johnson was investigated for fraud, has an active bench warrant for failing to appear in a domestic violence case and was fired shortly after Bishop Sycamore's validity became a question. Bishop Sycamore's founder Andre Peterson, who also currently coaches the football team's offensive and defensive lines, told USA Today Sports that the program was not a "scam."
The program's new coach, Tyren Jackson, told NBC4 in Columbus that Sycamore is “not a school,” however.
“We do not offer curriculum,” he said. “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.”
Jackson went on to describe it as a “post-grad football academy.” But all of its scheduled opponents for the season pulled out and now leave the questionable program without any games to play. This also isn't the only company looking to take this story to TV screens.
On Friday, Deadline reported that comedian Kevin Hart's production company, HartBeat Productions, is teaming up with youth entertainment company Complex Networks, Klutch Originals and Haven Entertainment in producing their own documentary series on Bishop Sycamore.
Klutch Sports Group CEO and founder Rich Paul, who is also a noted NBA agent that represents the likes of LeBron James and Anthony Davis, is also set to be heavily involved, per the report.
“As soon as I started following this story, I was immediately drawn to it and knew it was something that myself and my team at HartBeat had to dive into," Hart told Deadline. "HBP thrives in the doc-series space. We understand how to break down stories and capture the most interesting and honest moments in a narrative. We know this con comes with a robust backstory and cannot wait to share it with the world.”
There's also a plan to produce a scripted adaption. It's unclear how SMAC Entertainment's exclusive rights to Roy Johnson's story will factor into their plans, but it looks like there will be plenty of Bishop Sycamore content to come.
More Bishop Sycamore Coverage:
- Bishop Sycamore Is 'Not a School,' New Coach Says
- Bishop Sycamore Fires Head Coach Roy Johnson
- Parents and Players Shed More Light on Bishop Sycamore Football Fiasco