NEW YORK (WFAN) – A former child-abuse victim himself, former football grad assistant Matt Paknis believes Joe Paterno knew about Jerry Sandusky’s alleged sexual abuse against children years ago.

Paknis joined WFAN’s Mike Francesa on Tuesday to talk about his time at Penn State.

LISTEN: Matt Paknis with Mike Francesa

Paknis was a graduate assistant on the Nittany Lions football staff in 1987 and 1988. He says Sandusky exhibited questionable behavior towards the players back then.

As a childhood victim of sexual abuse, he said he remembered thinking how inappropriate it was when he saw Sandusky tickle and pinch little boys during football camps, sometimes putting them in headlocks.

“I thought it was a boundary issue, more than anything else,” Paknis said.

Paknis described Paterno’s rule over the Penn State campus as absolute.  “I think he had more power in the state of Pennsylvania than anybody.”

When asked about the possibility that Paterno could not be aware of reports on Sandusky’s behavior Paknis said it was “impossible.”

“Joe knows everything,” he said.

Paknis also said that he could envision a scenario where Paterno attempted to cover up Sandusky’s actions.

How do feel about Paknis comments? Leave a comment below.

Comments (3)
  1. mark says:

    Panknis, are you an idiot? You were there 24 years ago. Joe was 60. He did have total control at that time. He’s now 84, he’s just a face for the football team now. Attempt a cover up? That’s a pretty serious allegation for someone who hasnt associated with the school in 24 years, and also an uneducated allegation. Please keep your thoughts to yourself and off national radio. and by the way, what did you do about anything that you saw???

    1. MC 703 says:

      You must be a PSU alum

  2. H78 says:

    It is hard to imagine how somebody like Paterno, with all his clout, respect, power and influence could not have known, or at least suspected, something about this sicko. Years and years and years of this twisted abuse must have gone on. Child victim after child victim. I am starting to think that maybe Paterno and the rest of the Penn State high command simply didn’t want to face the truth. I am so amazingly glad when I learned he was fired. I was a little surprised, but immensely pleased by it.

    This wasn’t a case of writing bad checks. This wasn’t a case of inappropriate behavior between consenting adults. This wasn’t a case of a coach crossing some boundaries with his players (think Bobby Knight). This wasn’t a case of a coach getting a DUI and everybody trying to cover it up.

    This was about child rape.

    The degree of moral bankruptcy and detached, callous disregard within any adults whom know of such heinous criminal behavor, or supsect it, and deliberately avoid intervening as they should must fester in epic proportion. Of course Paterno should have done more. Of course anybody with such knowledge or suspicion should have (most would have). The groundskeeper that waters the football field would be expected to handle the safety of children with more intelligence, deceny, caring and fundamental humanity.

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