A former assistant football coach and key prosecution witness in the upcoming conspiracy trial of three former Penn State leaders accused of covering up Jerry Sandusky's sexual abuse crimes told his players during a November 2011 closed-door meeting that he, too, was sexually abused as a boy, sources told ESPN The Magazine.

Mike McQueary confided to a dozen Nittany Lions players that he could relate to the helplessness of the young boy he had seen with Sandusky in a campus shower a decade earlier because he was abused as a boy, according to two players who attended the meeting and four others with knowledge of it. McQueary did not tell the players who had abused him or when or how long the abuse had occurred, the sources said.

McQueary's meeting with Penn State's receivers was held on Nov. 9, 2011, just three days after prosecutors revealed, in a 23-page presentment, that McQueary had seen Sandusky and a young boy engaged in "anal intercourse" in the Lasch Football Building on campus on Feb. 9, 2001.

The revelation is included in a profile of McQueary published in the upcoming edition of ESPN The Magazine.

McQueary, 39, declined to comment for the magazine story, except to say that he still reveres his mentor, former coach Joe Paterno, who was fired that day in November 2011 and died in January 2012 at the age of 85.

"I love that man more than you can ever possibly say," McQueary told The Mag. "He's an unbelievable man. He did unbelievable things. He handled this thing in the best way he could. Was it foolproof or perfect? No. But I didn't handle this in a foolproof or perfect way either. I am loyal to him to this day. I absolutely love him."