According to Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated , you don't have to read between the lines to see how close Warren Sapp came to losing his job with NFL Network for the Jeremy Schockey tweet. The network's executives on Friday afternoon were blunt about it. "We decided not to fire Warren," said Mark Quenzel, the NFL Network senior vice president of programming and production.
Quenzel said he spoke with Sapp on Thursday and made clear to the analyst that he is not a reporter. He would not say if Sapp is facing specific discipline outside of saying he remains employed by the network. "Our reporters are held to a very specific standard as to what needs to happen before they report the news," Quenzel said. "Warren went into an area where he is not an expert. He understands what his role is with the NFL Network. At the end of the discussion, he said he understood the protocols and the procedures we go by to report the news. He said he understood what his role is with NFL Network."
Asked by SI.com if he knew who Sapp's source was, Quinzel said he had an idea but "the issue for me is not who the source is, how he [Sapp] got it, where he got it, or whether he believes it or not. My issue is he did not follow the news-gathering procedures that we have."
On that point, Quenzel said there are written editorial procedures in place at the NFL Network about reporting news for both employees and independent contractors such as Sapp, who is not a full-time employee of the network.
Sapp will be back on the network's air, but there is no specific date for his next appearance. Quenzel said no one from the league office ordered him to discipline Sapp and reiterated during an interview with SI.com that the NFL "treats the NFL Network editorially as an independent organization, and not just in this case but in all cases."