Jimmy Kennedy wasn't just a player at Penn State under Jerry Sandusky. He wasn't only recruited by the defensive coordinator to play in Happy Valley. He says he was also an intern for Sandusky's now-sullied Second Mile charity for underprivileged youths.

Kennedy, who is coming off a four-game suspension by the NFL for violating the performance-enhancing substances policy, said there were "no signs, nothing weird or anything like that."

"I was out there placing kids and setting up activities," Kennedy, a Giants defensive tackle, said Wednesdayof his role in the program.

"In my head I think about times where I've been around Jerry and maybe something like that has happened. I just thought he loved kids and that he just had a genuine passion for it. I thought he shared the same passion [as I did]. It hurts to hear all this stuff."

Looking back now, though, he's able to at least piece together some of what happened during his tenure there.

"When we were at school, we didn't know that Jerry had a D.A. drop the case or whatever and all that other stuff in '98," Kennedy said.

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"But I know that in '99 he was done. So whether he was guilty or not, the attention that he may have brought to the program, I'm quite sure coach Paterno handled it. I didn't understand why he retired at the time. Now looking back on it, it's like: Hold on, maybe that had something to do with it."

Kennedy said he does not agree with the school's decision to fire Paterno. It was Paterno who helped him get through college and into the NFL after he was a troubled youth in Yonkers.

"When I went in there I was a knucklehead and falling out," he said. "He instills his character on you. He wants you to conform to the program . . . He expects things to be done the right way, the Penn State way. And it hurts because the stuff that's coming out isn't the Penn State way."