Bishop Sycamore player speaks out on Ohio school called into question after football game

Jaylen and Alaija Morris want to set the record straight about the school and its football program.
Published: Sep. 2, 2021 at 5:42 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) -We first introduced you to Jaylen Morris in the winter, when he was a senior at Euclid High School, squeezed out of college rooster spots and short on scholarship offers because of extended eligibility granted to college athletes due to the pandemic.

He landed at Bishop Sycamore.

“It was an affordable price for us. I was going to get a lot of film out of it and if I needed to, get my grades up,” he said.

His mom, Alaija, understood it to be an online football prep school.

They made a visit to the practice facility in Columbus before signing up and were sold on the start-up program.

“They definitely have housing because I took my son there. They gave us keys, him and a roommate that also came from Euclid,” she said.

Morris, 18, has been in Columbus for a month and said prior to the televised game against IMG Academy over the weekend, there were no red flags about Bishop Sycamore.

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“It was just our preparation and some bad coaches that we had but they are gone now,” he said. Morris said there is a lot of misinformation swirling around and wants to set the record straight.

“We’re not a fake school. We’re an actual real school,” he said.

Since the school has been called into question, opportunities are drying up, leaving Alaija frustrated and desperate.

“This background stuff is overshadowing what is going on now and what is to come, making it bad for the kids who are there now. If you’re there for film, schools are canceling out,” she said.

Jaylen is hoping to work this negative attention to his advantage.

“Other teams are trying to play us and get games because after this a lot of people are going to be watching us, using us as exposure. That’s what I really want,” he said.

Alaija has faith in the program and doesn’t plan to withdraw Jaylen. It’s too late for other options.

“Wherever he could possibly go, we can’t afford it,” she said. At this point their schedule is clear, and all of Bishop Sycamore’s opponents have backed out.

The family believes ESPN and Paragon Marketing, which booked the game, have some responsibility in this.

They are hoping one or both will step in and help make it right for these student athletes.

Watch the full interview with Jaylen Morris below:

Watch the full interview with Alaija Morris below:

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