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