Bob KatzAuthor

About The Whistleblower

The Whistleblower book cover

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. He truly does not care who wins or loses. In The Whistleblower, the fascinating yet nearly unknown role of the referee is revealed and readers will be treated to a new kind of sports hero.