PHILADELPHIA - The governing board of Pennsylvania State University has authorized the payment of up to $60 million to settle claims by the sexual-abuse victims of former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, a trustee said Thursday.
About 30 claims have been filed. It is not known if all would be covered by that sum.
"First and foremost, I hope this is closure for the victims," said Edward "Ted" Brown III, a trustee who is president and chief executive officer of KETCHConsulting in State College.
"It's a settlement, and a settlement means we have not admitted any guilt," he said. "A settlement means just what the word says."
The $60 million figure was the suggestion of outside counsel, who believed that was the figure needed, he said.
University board chairman Keith Masser declined to comment, as did university spokesman David La Torre.
Attorney Kenneth Feinberg, hired by Penn State in September to help settle the personal-injury claims, also declined to comment when reached in Washington.
News of the allocation came six days after university trustees announced at their regular meeting that they had reached tentative agreements with some victims. For several weeks, officials have said the university was nearing settlement with the bulk of those victimized by Sandusky, who was convicted last year of sexually abusing 10 boys over 15 years. Sandusky was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison.
"We have a tentative agreement in place for my client," said Philadelphia lawyer Thomas Kline, who represents the youth identified at Sandusky's trial as Victim 5.
Kline said he could not reveal the amount due to a confidentiality agreement with Penn State.
"There are tentative agreements reached in many cases," he said. "PSU and the lawyers for the Sandusky victims have now moved from the stage of negotiating to the stage of papering and documenting numerous previously achieved informal deals."