An e-book edition will be published.

The Whistleblower

Rooting for the Ref in the High-Stakes World of College Basketball

Bob Katz

The Whistleblower

Bob Katz

Distributed for University Press of New England

226 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
E-book $19.99 ISBN: 9781611687101 Published February 2015
During a season on the road with college basketball referees, Bob Katz watched the games they officiated, listened in on their candid conversations in locker rooms and hotel lobbies, and explored the challenges they must regularly confront. In this portrait of one consummate professional at the top of his game, Katz pulls off an unbelievable feat: In The Whistleblower, we come to actually root for the ref. Ed Hightower, raised in poverty in the segregated rural South, went on to become superintendent of schools in Edwardsville, Illinois. But it is his side-career as an elite NCAA referee (4 NCAA Championship games, 12 Final Fours) that has earned him renown—which in the eyes of angry coaches and hostile fans is a far cry from affection. Alone among thousands in the stadium and millions watching at home, the ref’s goal is fairness and neutrality. He truly does not care who wins or loses. His passion to do the right thing on the court is shaped by character and training and a rare kind of honor. In The Whistleblower, the fascinating yet nearly unknown role of the referee is artfully revealed by a writer of talent.
Contents
Introduction: The Invisible Gorilla • The One We Want on the Road • In a Very Partisan Place • Worst F**king Ref in the World! • Cotton Fields Back Home • One Tough Bracket • To the Next Level • Total Quality Control • Screens from Every Angle • The Parad
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