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John Carroll University’s Mike Cleary Program in Sport Studies will welcome former college basketball referee, best-selling author, and northeast Ohio native Phil Bova to campus on Mar. 16 at 6 p.m. in the Donahue Auditorium in the Dolan Science Center. 

Bova, who spent 26 years as a Big 10 basketball official, will deliver a presentation related to his book “Throwing Back the Chair,” a nod to outburst that former Indiana University basketball coach Bob Knight directed toward him in 1985. The book recounts memories and anecdotes from nearly three decades of officiating. 

“We are constantly seeking opportunities for our students to learn from experts across all walks of the sports industry,” said Bryan Beigie, M.Ed., practicum and internship coordinator for the Exercise Science and Sports Studies Department. “We expect that Phil’s experience as a referee in high-pressure situations on the biggest stages in college sports will provide valuable lessons and conversation starters in our curriculum.”

A native of Cleveland, Bova was assigned to 20 consecutive NCAA Men’s National Basketball Tournaments, including an appearance in the Final Four and numerous Elite Eight and Sweet 16 matchups. He also officiated National Invitation Tournament games for two decades, including the 1993 championship at Madison Square Garden, and tournament championship games for virtually every major collegiate conference. 

Copies of “Throwing Back the Chair '' will be available for purchase at the event. A portion of the proceeds will be donated back to the Mike Cleary Program in Sport Studies.  

To reserve seats at the event, please contact Bryan Beigie at or 216.397.4662.