Rick is joined this week by former D-I student athlete and now author, M.K. Lever.
Imagine a world where coercion, control, surveillance, and manipulation reign. Where imbalance of power makes exploitation easy and where those at the bottom of the heap sacrifice everything to make a profit for those at the top. M.K. Lever’s knockout debut work of fiction, Surviving the Second Tier, weaves these issues and themes throughout a new fictional dystopia to display the real world truths that face athletes in the college athletic system.
This is a great candid interview and I believe this novel should be required reading for athletes.
“I wrote this book to educate readers about the reality of the college sports industry, as someone who has been there before,” shares Lever. “Sometimes, facts and statistics don’t stick with people and since we are intrinsically wired to follow narratives, I wanted to tell people a story in hopes that the message would resonate in a unique and powerful way. I wanted to give college sports the 1984 treatment and create a narrative that would be impactful and a little unsettling.”
Lever, a former Division 1 athlete and PhD candidate at UT Austin, combines her personal experiences as a college athlete and the weight of her academic research in areas concerning NCAA rhetoric, discourse, and policy to create her stunning and emotionally driven literary debut. Surviving the Second Tier depicts a new day in college athletics in which the old multi-sport model has collapsed and the bare bones, but extremely profitable Amateur Fighting Association has risen in its place. Where students once competed in a multitude of sports on a variety of playing fields, now college athletes have only the AFA ring in which to prove themselves in full-contact, no holds barred fights to the finish.
Have a listen and get the book!