This was not a good look for ESPN.

The worldwide leader in sports is now performing serious damage control.

And that’s because ESPN got caught in this humiliating pay-to-play high school football scandal.

Over the weekend, ESPN televised a high school football game between IMG Academy – a powerhouse ranked number one in the nation – and little known Bishop Sycamore from Ohio.

The game quickly proved to be a mismatch with IMG racing out to a 30-0 lead in the second quarter en route to a 59-6 pounding of Bishop Sycamore.

It wasn’t just the viewers puzzled by why ESPN would put such a noncompetitive game on the air.

ESPN commentator Tom Luginbill fumed that the Bishop Sycamore coaches “scammed” the network in televising the game and that the IMG players so overmatched their Bishop Sycamore counterparts that Luginbill feared for their health and safety.

Last year IMG crushed Bishop Sycamore 56-6, but the Bishop Sycamore coaches told ESPN they acquired numerous division prospects and promised a more competitive game.

Even though ESPN could not find any Bishop Sycamore players in their recruiting ranking databases, the network took the Bishop Sycamore coaches at their word and went ahead with televising the game.

More red flags continued to surface.

Bishop Sycamore only won five games total in the school’s history and last year its opponents outscored them 227 to 42.

There is now even an open question of whether or not the school even exists outside of its football team as its website is basically an empty blog.

The Bishop Sycamore coaches reportedly received $10,000 for the game, which helps explain how this scam game came to be.

Fortunately, no Bishop Sycamore players were seriously hurt, so this game ended by simply being the source of jokes and amusement.

But not for ESPN, which appeared to willingly fall for a scam to get some coaches a payday.

Sports with Balls will keep you up-to-date on any new developments in this ongoing story.