Personal Foul (book)

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Personal Foul: A First-Person Account of the Scandal That Rocked the NBA
Personal Foul book cover.jpg
Cover of the book
Author Tim Donaghy
Country United States
Language English
Genre Autobiography
Publisher VTi-Group, Inc.
Publication date
December, 2009
Media type Print (paperback)
Pages 270 pp
ISBN 0-615-30603-9

Personal Foul: A First-Person Account of the Scandal That Rocked the NBA is an autobiography written by former National Basketball Association (NBA) referee Tim Donaghy and published by Florida-based VTi-Group, Inc. in December, 2009. Donaghy, who had resigned from the league as a central figure in the 2007 NBA betting scandal, describes his involvement in and inner workings of the scandal, as well as his gambling addiction.

Originally named Blowing the Whistle: The Culture of Fraud in the NBA, the book was canceled by publisher Triumph Books because of liability concerns. Pat Berdan, Donaghy's liaison with Triumph, said the book was canceled after the NBA threatened legal action—which the NBA denies.[1] Donaghy eventually found a new publisher, VTi-Group, that was willing to release his book. It was subsequently renamed Personal Foul: A First-Person Account of the Scandal That Rocked the NBA and released in December 2009.[2][3]

"We approached Mr. Donaghy after learning that his original publishing deal fell through. With a background in web media and traditional publishing, Mr. Donaghy felt that our firm was the best fit to become the publisher for this unique project." said Benjamin Daniel, a project manager at VTi.[4]

In the book, Donaghy describes his time as a referee in the CBA and NBA, discussing the NBA's inner workings, refereeing bias, TV media markets, owners in the NBA, marriage and divorce, NBA scandals, his time in jail, court process, solving the NBA's problems, referee personalities, and his life story.


  1. ^ Alipour, Sam (October 28, 2009). "Donaghy book canceled over liability". ESPN. Retrieved March 6, 2010. 
  2. ^ Craggs, Tommy (November 30, 2009). "Tim Donaghy Has Found A Publisher". Deadspin. Retrieved March 6, 2010. 
  3. ^ Belson, Ken (December 3, 2009). "Disgraced Referee's Book Describes Gambling on N.B.A. Games". The New York Times. Retrieved March 6, 2010. 
  4. ^ Abbott, Henry (December 3, 2009). "Personal Foul: Tim Donaghy's NBA tell-all now available". ESPN. Retrieved March 6, 2010.