Ex-Penn State Assistant: Joe Paterno Knows Everything; Jerry Sandusky Was Always Grabbing the Players

A former Penn State graduate assistant has made claims that question Joe Paterno’s role in the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal, and he says Sandusky’s behavior towards players was sketchy.

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

“He was always grabbing the players,” Paknis says. “He would get in their space, lean up right against them. I’d also been taught you don’t touch anyone unless you are teaching a technique. Boundaries were clearly an issue. It made me feel awkward, the way he would grab or pinch them.”

Paknis believes former head coach Joe Paterno knew of Sandusky’s behavior prior to the defensive coordinator’s retirement in 1999.

“Joe knows everything,” he says.

Paknis then appeared on Mike Francesa’s show on WFAN on Tuesday, and reiterated more of the same points. The entire interview can be heard here and is worth listening to, but here is some of what Paknis told Francesa.

“Joe knows everything, Joe knows everything — everything that goes on at that campus, everything that goes on clearly in the football program,” Paknis said on Tuesday. “It’s like the [Bernie] Madoff thing. Not only did he cover it up, but there’s no way that this wasn’t apparent.”

Paknis also said that anyone who has been around the Penn State campus knows that it was not difficult to cover news stories up and that the football program was particularly good at it.

“Absolutely,” Paknis said when asked if he could envision Paterno sweeping something like the Sandusky scandal under the rug. “I mean, fights, behavior problems anything like that never reached the local paper. It was a controlled environment. There’s no question.”

We wondered if Joe Paterno knew of the 1998 Jerry Sandusky sexual assault investigation. We know Gary Schultz knew of the investigation, giving him a motive to cover up the 2002 sodomy witnessed by Mike McQueary. Knowing about Sandusky’s questionable past could be why Paterno passed the 2002 allegation on to Tim Curley and Gary Schultz instead of the police.

Here is an audio clip of Paknis’ appearance on the show:

More on the Penn State Scandal:
Video: Is Jerry Sandusky Sexually Attracted to Young Boys?
Mike McQueary Says He Stopped Sodomy, Did the Right Thing
Barry Switzer: Penn State Coaches Had to Know About Jerry Sandusky
Why Did Campus Police Director Call Off ’98 Jerry Sandusky Investigation?
Jerry Sandusky’s 1999 Retirement: Evidence Suggests He Was Forced Out

Around The Web

  • Anonymous

    Matt, Matt , Matt are you listening to what you’re saying. Where was your moral responsibility to report this? You suspected this all the way back in 1987! Oh, your just a lowly assistant. It is someone else’s responsibility. Be just like the media: the bigger the tree the louder the noise it makes when it falls. Everyone else knew! Did you ever stand in a huddle? Guess they were in your space too.

  • Bud Miller

    coalhog, what was matt to report? Feeling uncomfortable? Bit of a difference between that and covering up sexual abuse of minors. Get serious.

  • Anonymous

    What happen to innocent to proven guilty on Joe?
    What happen to do Process?
    It is double standard.
    When is Gov’t going after these Catholic Priests???
    They been raping children for centries. And plus murdering Prostant christian for centries.
    Study Church Hystory.

  • Anonymous

    Let’s all get real.There is a long history of a fellow coach not “ratting out” a fellow coach.
    You don’t have to be Dr.Phil  to ascertain they all knew about this piece of human vermin  for a heckuva long time,and for reasons {GOD-Willing] to be determined,decided to sit on the information and keep their collective pie-holes zipped.Shame on all of them include the burning Inferno that is now Paterno.How freakin’ sad and pathetic.And this lawyer who is defending this pile of garbage,he is the lowest form of money-grubbing ambulance chasing attorney,who has set any decent lawyer’s perceptions back to those wonderful days of our inane O.J.fascination.What a piece of work to say he would leave his own small boy with this sicko perverted hunk of scum.This attorney better check himself…he appears to be a very sick pud as well.In my next post,I will attempt to convey how I really feel.

  • Anonymous

    garbage in and garbage out. until anyone knows the true total facts of this situation forget about your 15 minutes of fame and keep your mouth shut. our media has received their training from tass and pravda, tell the people only what you wish them to hear. that goes for all the idiot sportscasters that apparently don’t know a darn thing.

  • Anonymous

    they may remove the statue but they can never remove all that joe has done for that university. as far as i’m concerned that board of trustees are a group of spineless wimps. watch the donations fall now, i hope the trustees have deep pockets.

  • Anonymous

    perhaps in this sordid tale it may come to pass that all Yo Pa did for the university,which is undeniable and huge,will be pale in comparison to what he choose NOT TO DO….

  • Anonymous

    So, so sad!  Society turns football teams and coaches into “God-like” people.  Maybe this situation will get people to look at football for what it is and coaches for what they are – people – good, bad, and ugly.  Take this game and the coaches off their pedestals.  These kids might have run home and told their parents if they weren’t so afraid of the Penn State aura – phoney – buy an aura!  Disgusting!!

  • Anonymous

    Exactly, Bud, and these were college students who were old enough to do something about it.  So, Matt was talking about uncomfortable – not abuse.  Also, I just love it on comment sites when people tell others to “shut up”.  All get to have their opinions and that’s what the site is for.  Just love it when only one opinion is “accepted”.  LOL.  what kind of a joke is that?

  • http://www.facebook.com/jefferyrenner Jeff Renner

    As expected, everybody who was ever in a PSU locker room is coming out of the woodwork.  Mr. Brown, we all know you have to sensationalize this and follow the Fox mantra of trial by press, but 1988?

    1988!!!  You should at least TRY to make your reports at least SEEM legitimate.

    PSU 1978, 2001

  • Carrie Tomco

    I feel that some people are confused. Paterno is not the man who abused children. He is getting more blame than even Sandusky, and if Kapnis saw this happening, he had as much (if not more) responsibility to report it than other individuals who had only heard allegations. EVERYBODY is at fault, not just Joe.

  • http://larrybrownsports.com Larry Brown

    Certainly everyone is at fault. But there is a strong possibility that there was a cover-up involving the football program, athletic department, local police, and perhaps more. 

    If all those people consciously allowed Sandusky to continue molesting children in the interest of protecting a football program, it’s a serious, serious issue.

  • Anonymous

    I played athletics for many different coaches.  I feel safe in saying that all or nearly all of those coaches would have thrown out on their ear any assistant coach they felt was a pedophile.  It would have been completely unacceptable and the perve would have been exposed and thrown out immediately and asked not to come back.  To do otherwise is gutless, no matter what charitable organization that may have been started.  Anyone who did otherwise in this case is what is known as an enabler.

  • Tim


    I can question this guy’s motives and not drag in MSNBC, the NYTimes, Hair Club for Men, or the Illumanati…try to keep your focus.

  • Tim

    I think what happened was also a huge case of denial.  You have people telling themselves that what others saw was, pardon the expression, Blown out of proportion.  You had people saying, “oh, that’s Jerry, he’s just goofy, he’s not gay.”

    When people invest so much into denial it’s hard to make them face ugly truths.

    And others were simply cowards who didn’t want to risk what they had in order to protect kids.

    Pardon the expression again, but it all sucked.

  • Anonymous

    I read this guy’s ORIGINAL  article, if we are referring to the “low ranking position” previously sexually abused person as a child “assistant coach”.  The original article is 98% Joe did this, Joe did that..including calling him a “Holier than thou, control freak, racist wife beater”, just to name a few.  He also goes on to say that he DID NOT witness any behavior from Sandusky other than saying he was “talented with the kids, although a bit touchy feely with them”……Sandusky is the ALLEDGED monster in this whole mess, and he actually COMPLIMENTS the guys talent with kids!!!!…ALSO, claiming to have been sexually molested as a CHILD, and treated for it, if he witnessed the behavior he says he did from SANDUSKY, why didn’t he do something about it??? After all, he should have been well aware of the signs, based on HIS OWN past experience with the matter.  His article sounds nothing more than a disgruntled employee who has a serious AX TO GRind with a former coach (paTERNO)..  Full of inuendo and GOSSIp…his comments about Coaches showering together being strange…don’t grown women and men do the same thing at their local country clubs, gyms and spas??  Somebody tell THIS GUY HIS “15 MINUTES” are up!