At 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday evening, I received a tip regarding an amendment to former Lady Vol sports information director Debby Jennings' lawsuit against UT and athletic director Dave Hart.
The report said that Pat Summitt had filed a sworn affidavit against refutations made by a UT official. The refutations were in response to the original suit's claim that Hart had informed Summitt that she would not be coaching her team during the 2012-2013 season.
When I look back at the moment, I see it in slow motion, but it probably lasted less than 10 seconds. I was sitting at Presidential Court when my phone buzzed and I glanced down to see what was so urgent. I read and reread the information given to me, and I slowly realized the importance of the allegations made.
My mind was overrun with thoughts.
"Who says that to Summitt?" "What affect will this have on the athletics program?" "Will Hart be removed?" "Are the allegations true?" "What are other news organizations saying?" "Will Hart make a statement?" "How can I get this story up as soon as possible?"
If you had been sitting in the chair next to me, you would have noticed a marked change in my expressions, body movement and language.
I was no longer a fellow student grabbing dinner at the cafeteria. I had morphed into a reporter with one thing on my mind.
I knew at that moment that I needed to get to a computer as soon as possible. I knew that I needed to write a story, find facts, documentation and sources.
The first call I made was to Beacon associate editor Preston Peeden at 7:33 p.m. as I walked to the nearest computer I could find. I informed him of what had taken place and he immediately began working to ensure that the information would be online as soon as it was written and printed in Thursday's issue.
My job here at the Beacon can be a love/hate relationship.
There are days when I am overwhelmed by my responsibilities, overwhelmed by what could be done and overwhelmed by what should be done.
There are days when criticism of my work, my beat, my Beacon tears me apart inside.
There are days when my job here interferes with school, other jobs and my personal life.
But there is something that always draws me back, something that keeps me passionate about what I do for the Beacon and for UT.
That something isn't my resume or my bank account and it's not even the relationships that I've made and value so much.
When I sat down to write that article, with the adrenaline running through my body, I realized why I do what I do.
I feel for Summitt, Hart and Jennings and I feel for what the allegations mean for UT. I don't delight in news such as this, but I do delight in receiving that information and reporting it in a way that is both accurate and ethical.
I love the challenge of researching, finding the facts and reporting on them.
What I'm doing now, I could do for the rest of my life.