"The book the NBA doesn't want you to read."--Deadspin.com
Tim Donaghy loved basketball. In many ways, his zest for the game came from his father, who officiated high school and college games for over thirty years. After graduating from Villanova, Donaghy was unsatisfied with his career until he followed his heart and became a basketball referee, first in the CBA and then the NBA, where he officiated for thirteen seasons--772 regular season games and twenty playoff games.
He loved his job, his family, his life. He felt like he had everything. And then, suddenly, he had nothing. He succumbed to a gambling addiction as well as to intimidation from well-connected criminals and began using inside information to win bets for them. Following an FBI investigation, Donaghy pled guilty to two federal charges, and on August 15, 2007, he was sentenced to fifteen months in prison. He was released on November 4, 2009, after serving his sentence.
You hold in your hands his story, which provides a stunningly candid admission of his mistakes as well as his insider's account of the world of professional basketball. With a foreword by the FBI Special Agent who worked the Gambino case, Personal Foul reveals how the fast life of professional sports can tempt and trap the unwary and unwise. Donaghy has written an unforgettable page-turner, one of the most controversial sports books ever published. It will confirm your suspicions about the influence of the front offices of major league sports while examining the corrosive power of money, fame, and power.
The book also includes a foreword by Phil Scala, the FBI Special Agent who worked the Gambino case.
From the Introduction:
I'm guilty. For 13 years I was a referee in the National Basketball Association, living a glamorous life on and off the court, rubbing elbows with superstar players and celebrity A-listers. I suppose many would say that I had it all--a great job, money, a wonderful family--but it was all an illusion. You see, during my last four years in the NBA, I led a secret life that would ultimately cost me everything: my integrity, my reputation, my career, my livelihood, my marriage, my family, and my freedom.
About the Author
Born in Havertown Pennsylvania, Tim Donaghy loved the game of basketball ever since he could remember. He received his love for the game from his father Gerry Donaghy, who had officiated at high school and collegiate level games for over thirty years. Since he lived so close to Philadelphia, he naturally became a 76ers fan. Some of his favorite players were Doug Collins and Mike Dunleavy. Donaghy attended Cardinal O'Hara High School in Springfield, Pennsylvania, where he played competitively during his four years spent there. Following high school, Donaghy graduated from Villanova University with a liberal arts degree in 1989. Although Donaghy had a degree after his graduation, he became unsatisfied with the direction in which his career was headed. One night while sitting at the kitchen table with his parents, his mother suggested that he look into a career in the NBA. It was all the motivation that he needed, and began to pursue his newfound dream job. Later as Tim Donaghy perfected his skills as a referee through training camps, he was noticed by the NBA supervisor of officials Darell Garretson. This eventually led to Tim Donaghy's start in the CBA, the NBA's official minor league. He officiated for three years in the CBA. Before his fourth year Donaghy was called to officiate in the NBA. From 1994 to 2007 Tim Donaghy worked for the NBA, officiating in 772 regular-season games and 20 playoff games. Donaghy was a participant in the NBA's Read to Achieve program, for which he participated in an event at the Universal Charter school during the 2002 NBA Finals. His uniform number was 21.