Katie Lever is a doctoral candidate at the University of Texas, where she researches NCAA rhetoric and policy. She is also a freelance sportswriter, whose work has been featured in 2aDays, FanSided, Extra Points, Global Sports Matters, Sportico, and Forbes. Lever’s debut novel, Surviving the Second Tier, launched in February 2022 and discusses her research, including college athlete abuse, exploitation, health and safety, mental health, and NCAA policy failures, in a fictional dystopian context. She graduated from Western Kentucky University in 2016 with a B.A. in Communication Studies and in 2018 with an M.A. in Organizational Communication. While at WKU, Lever was a Division 1 athlete running track and cross country and was a two-time Sun Belt Conference champion in track and field (indoor and outdoor).