Former ESPN anchor Adnan Virk is reportedly taking legal action against the sports network. The anchor was removed from his position after being accused of leaking confidential information.

What’s happening:

  • The New York Post is reporting that Adnan Virk is pursuing legal action against ESPN following his removal from the network.
  • Virk is accused of leaking confidential information on several occasion and was let go from his position this past Friday. 
  • According to reports, after Virk was told he was fired, his company cell phone was confiscated and he was escorted to his desk to collect personal items.
  • The Post says that at this time he is not receiving severance pay even though he just signed a four-year contract amounting to seven figures.  
  • Virk had been considered a rising star at the network on baseball, college football/basketball and radio.
  • ESPN chose to let the anchor go following a story a story that appeared on the website Awful Announcing.
  • The story in question said, “Major League Baseball had opted to let ESPN slide on contractual obligations that called for it to have a certain amount of studio shows during the season in return for moving Sunday Night Baseball from 8 pm to 7 pm.”
  • The information in the story matched what was discussed in an ESPN conference call about Sunday Night Baseball, leading the network to believe that Virk shared with Awful Announcing.

Important notes from the Post article:

  • “When the conference call took place, Virk was not on the whole time, and the specific information about the future schedule for baseball was actually not discussed.”
  • “Virk followed up right after the call with Phil Orlins, the senior coordinating producer, asking specific questions about the direction of baseball at ESPN in regards to its scheduling.”
  • “The questions matched what appeared later that day in the Awful Announcing article.”
  • “Virk, according to sources, told Awful Announcing reporter Ben Koo about the information shortly after.”
  • Koo responded, “I cannot comment on the sourcing of any particular story we’ve done.”
  • Virk declined comment, as did a spokesman for ESPN.

Continued action:

  • Following the incident, ESPN investigated further and felt that Virk had been having conversations with media reporters about confidential information.
  • This is a violation of an ESPN policy that all employees are warned about.
  • The Post writes that ESPN also concluded Virk was not forthcoming even though he was given many chances to come clean.
  • Additional sources in support of Virk say he never received a warning and that his punishment does not fit the crime.
  • They find the outcome shocking and at most expected Virk would be given a two week suspension for a “lapse in judgement.”  
  • Those on ESPN’s side point out that all company employees are required to participate in compliance training which includes not leaking confidential information. In these trainings it is explained that termination could be an outcome of breaking the policy.