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NCAAF Penn St. paying nearly $60M to 26 men over Sandusky abuse claims

Image: Former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky (© Matt Rourke/Associated Press)
Jerry Sandusky was sentenced to 30-60 years for child sexual abuse.

 Updated Oct 28, 2013 2:13 PM ET

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP)

Penn State said Monday it is paying $59.7 million to 26 young men over claims of child sexual abuse at the hands of former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.

The school said 23 deals are fully signed and three are agreements in principle, but did not disclose the names of the recipients. The school faces six other claims, and the university says it believes some of those do not have merit while others may produce settlements.

University president Rodney Erickson issued a statement calling the announcement a step forward for victims and the school.

The settlements have been unfolding since mid-August, when attorneys for the accusers began to disclose them. Penn State followed a policy in which it has not been confirming them, waiting instead to announce deals at once.

Harrisburg lawyer Ben Andreozzi, who helped negotiate several of the settlements, said his clients were satisfied.

"They felt that the university treated them fairly with the economic and noneconomic terms of the settlement," said Andreozzi, who also represents some others who have come forward recently. Those new claims have not been presented to the university, he said.

It said Monday that liability insurance is expected to cover the payments and legal defense, and expenses not covered should be paid from interest paid on loans by Penn State to its self-supporting units.

Sandusky, 69, has been pursuing appeals while he serves a 30- to 60-year state prison sentence.

Three former Penn State administrators await trial in Harrisburg on charges they engaged in a criminal cover-up of the Sandusky scandal. Former president Graham Spanier, retired vice president Gary Schultz and retired athletic director Tim Curley deny the allegations, and a trial date has not been scheduled.

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