During a season on the road with college basketball referees, Bob Katz watched the games they officiated, listened in on their candid conversations in hotel lobbies and airport lounges, and explored their training, strategy, and mission. In the end, he pulls off an unbelievable feat: he makes us care about the world of the referee. More than that, The Whistleblower is a portrait of one consummate professional at the top of his game, in the final season of his career. Ed Hightower, raised in poverty in the segregated rural South, went on to become superintendent of schools in Edwardsville, Illiis. But it is his side-career as an elite NCAA referee that has earned him rewn - which is a far cry from affection, particularly in the eyes of angry coaches and hostile fans. Alone among thousands in the stadium and millions watching at home, the ref's goal is fairness and neutrality. He truly does t care who wins or loses. The Whistleblower shows how Ed's background, character, and training combined with his passion to do the right thing on the court. In the process, the vital but nearly unkwn role of the referee is thoroughly and artfully explored by a writer of talent.
BOB KATZ has written on sports and culture for the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and other publications. His previous books include Third and Long, a Sports Illustrated summer reads pick, and Elaine's Circle.