By Steve Tawa

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (CBS) — Penn State University says it has reached a milestone in out-of-court settlements with 26 young men who claimed they were abused by former football coach and convicted pedophile Jerry Sandusky.

The total dollar amount is $59.7 million.

Keith Masser, chair of the Penn State board of trustees, says the objectives included “a fair settlement that respects the privacy of the individuals involved.”

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In that same PSU statement, university president Rodney Erickson says he hopes the settlement agreement is “another step forward in the healing process for those hurt by Mr. Sandusky and another step forward for Penn State.”

PSU officials say of the 26 settlements, 23 are fully signed and three are agreed in principle, noting that “the settlement amounts will not be funded by student tuition, taxpayer funds, or donations.”

The university says various liability insurance policies will cover the settlements, and that the terms of the settlements contain a release of all claims against Penn State.

Penn State received claims from 32 people who were or allege that they were victims of Sandusky, but the university either has rejected as being without merit or has not yet made a determination on the remaining six.

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