Sandusky, 69, was convicted a year ago of 45 counts of child sexual abuse, including violent attacks on boys inside school facilities. He is serving a 30- to 60-year prison term and maintains he was wrongfully convicted. He is pursuing appeals.
More than 30 claimants have come forward with sexual-abuse allegations involving the longtime assistant to late coach Joe Paterno. The deals will be limited to a range of dollar values and subject to final approval by a committee empowered by the board to handle the claims. A university spokesman said the school plans to release the total amount it pays to settle the lawsuit but will not provide amounts for individual cases.
Sandusky's arrest in November 2011 touched off a massive scandal that led to the dismissal of Paterno, then Division I football's winningest coach, along with criminal charges against other high-ranking school officials and ultimately NCAA sanctions that included stripping Paterno of 111 victories.
Board chairman Keith Masser said it was part of getting past the scandal and the collateral damage it has done to the university.
"We're just chipping away at getting these issues behind us," Masser said.
Legal experts say the "value" of a child sexual abuse claim depends on several factors, including the victim's age and the nature and frequency of the abuse. Many details about the Sandusky abuse claims have not been made public, but other molestation cases suggest Penn State may have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars, up to several million, to reach settlements.
Harrisburg attorney Chuck Schmidt said his client was one who expects to finish a deal based on terms provided by the university over the past week. He said only confidentiality provisions remain to be ironed out.
Schmidt's client, who filed a lawsuit that has been on hold, was not among those who testified at Sandusky's trial.
Yesterday marked one year since the release of a university-funded report about its handling of the Sandusky scandal that was highly critical of the actions by Paterno, former president Graham Spanier and former administrators Tim Curley and Gary Schultz.
Spanier, Curley and Schultz await a July 29 preliminary hearing on criminal charges over an alleged coverup of complaints about Sandusky. All three men deny the allegations.
Spanier remains a faculty member on leave, while athletic director Curley and vice president Schultz have retired. Paterno died last year of lung cancer.