Let's just dispense with the pleasantries and flowery introductory language and get straight to the point, shall we?
I have so, so much I want to say to you but hey... I'm a gentleman. I'll refrain from the slurs and thereby not give anybody any cause to disregard what I'm about to say. What I'll say to you is this: WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD. You toiled in anonymity at a job for a long time and in doing so you came to believe you were more important than you really were. You had a personality conflict with a new boss and didn't see eye to eye with him, so he canned you. Guess what? For those of us toiling in corporate America, that happens EVERY DAY. That does not mean you were bad at your job or worthless or undeserving of the money you made or the job you had, but it also does not entitle you to be special enough to claim discrimination just because you are a female who was downsized during a corporate restructuring. Businessmen and women who are successful make the tough calls. Dave Hart is a successful businessman and Dave Hart is employed at Tennessee to make the tough calls. I'm sorry you got caught up in the carnage, but welcome to life outside the walls of that type of organization. If that hurts your feelings, I suggest self-employment because you'll be suing everyone in the corporate world.
Of course, we all know that if it was just left at a frivolous little lawsuit that this article wouldn't be written. It is easy for the average person to look at the situation and see that you are merely hurt, offended, and caught off guard, and you are attempting to heal your wounds with a little money. Even though I don't agree with it, I see your rationale. Or I did, until you stamped Pat Head Summitt's name on your lottery ticket. And for a time, that accomplished what you wanted; it spread like wildfire. It made ESPN. It made CNN. Vol fans everywhere were roused from their recliners in support of Pat. After all, nobody cares about Debby Jennings, but almost everybody loves Pat. Suddenly Dave Hart was evil. Suddenly he couldn't possibly survive the carnage of forcing out a legend. How dare this AD, this heartless bastard, force out a legend who was under such shame due to her disease?
Well, Debby... you betrayed yourself, and now you look worse than you did before. Pat's statement today paints the true picture of what has happened here; like you, Pat had a personality conflict with a new boss and didn't like some of the things he said or did, but she didn't allow it to become bigger than Tennessee. Even with her health difficulties, she is refusing to allow you to use her as a vehicle to revenge. And in the end, you ought to be ashamed of yourself for attempting to do something like this to someone who is supposed to be your mentor; someone who, given the chance to defend you when you were terminated, would've stood up for you and fought for you to keep your job. You forced her into a bad spot where she had to choose sides and in the end, she chose Tennessee, not Debby Jennings.
The jury is out on Dave Hart. I'm not ready to anoint him as the savior of Tennessee Athletics. But I know this: the man was hired to combine the two departments and fix one of the most dysfunctional athletic departments in the top tier of Division 1. A person who comes into a situation like this has to make some tough calls, and this man at least looks equipped to make those tough calls. He isn't afraid of making decisions and ruffling feathers. Time will tell if he is the person to fix the dysfunction that had become Tennessee Athletics, but after several years of a lack of spine from Mike Hamilton, Tennessee needed someone with some guts. Dave Hart has them. Pat Summitt certainly has them. I don't think either one of those people think that Debby Jennings has them, at least not now.
We all know where you stand now, because we all know that Pat Summitt would never compromise herself and turn her back on a woman who she knew had been wrongfully terminated, even if it meant going against the University she loved. Before the last two days, most Vol fans were content to uneasily observe the goings-on of your situation from afar with a feeling of dread about what might happen. But by bringing Pat into it and forcing her to take a stand, you exposed your lawsuit for what it is... nothing. You got caught up in turmoil, you were terminated, and it hurts. Out here in the real world, we call that life.
All the best,