2017 PEN/ESPN AWARD FOR LITERARY SPORTS WRITING
Joe Nocera and Ben Strauss, Indentured: The Inside Story of the Rebellion Against the NCAA
The $5,000 PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing honors a nonfiction book about sports. Eligible titles should be of a biographical, investigative, historical, or analytical nature and of the strongest literary character.
From the Judges’ Citation
Indentured: The Inside Story of the Rebellion Against the NCAA by Joe Nocera and Ben Strauss is the book on the NCAA we need, one that follows up admirably on years of work on the economics of big time college sports. Fans too often think of these problems both abstractly and without context — they may agree that the NCAA hurts athletes or even that some athletes should be paid, but the issue is too often framed as a moral question, one can be debated and weighed and brought to some middle ground conclusion. Indentured ends the discussion. It is the best sort of polemic, one that never wavers from its thesis — that the NCAA is corrupt and exploitative — but makes its argument through definitive reporting and argumentation.
Jay Caspian Kang wrote the novel, The Dead Do Not Improve, and he is a writer-at-large for the New York Times Magazine and a correspondent for Vice on HBO.
Juliet Macur is an award-winning sports columnist for the New York Times and a best-selling author. Her book, Cycle of Lies: The Fall of Lance Armstrong, a biography of Armstrong, the cancer survivor and disgraced cyclist, was published in 2014. Ms. Macur worked at the Orlando Sentinel and then the Dallas Morning News before joining the Times in 2004. She graduated from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband, daughter, and Labrador retriever.
David Owen is a staff writer at The New Yorker and a contributing editor of Golf Digest. He has written more than a dozen books, including several about golf. His most recent book is Where the Water Goes: Life and Death Along the Colorado River (which will be published in the spring).
Marshall Jon Fisher, George Dohrmann, Dan Barry, Mark Kram, Jr., Mark Fainaru-Wada & Steve Fainaru, and John Branch.
Click here for additional information, including submission guidelines, for the award.