SBD/Issue 34/Sports Media

Publisher Cancels Tim Donaghy's Book Over Liability Concerns

Former NBA referee Tim Donaghy's "tell-all book has been canceled by Triumph Books and parent company Random House," according to Sam Alipour of "Blowing the Whistle: The Culture of Fraud in the NBA" was "slated for publication later this month," and the book was to have covered Donaghy's "experience as an NBA referee and the events leading up to his conviction on federal wire fraud charges." But a Triumph spokesperson in an e-mail said that Random House and Triumph "made the joint decision to cancel the book out of 'concerns over potential liability.'" Executive Prison Consultants Senior Consultant Pat Berdan, Donaghy's liaison to the publisher, said that the "decision not to publish the book came two weeks ago," and that it was the "result of a threat of legal action by the NBA." But NBA VP/Basketball Communications Tim Frank in an e-mail said the NBA "never threatened a lawsuit or anything else." Alipour reported the NBA was "aware of the book but had not received or reviewed a copy." Meanwhile, Berdan said that "there is 'legitimate interest' from five publishers to continue with the book" (, 10/28).'s Tommy Craggs noted the site obtained a copy of Donaghy's book, and it "falls somewhere between a confessional and an indictment, both of his former colleagues and their employer." The book was "ready for printing ... two weeks ago," and CBS' "60 Minutes" had plans to "interview Donaghy in conjunction with the book's publication." But a source said the project is "dead right now," and the "whole thing has fallen flat on its face" (, 10/28).

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