July 12, 2016

Court documents released Tuesday reveal more details about a claim that famed Penn State football coach Joe Paterno knew as early as 1976 that assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky had been accused of sexually abusing boys. Here's what you should know about the newly unsealed records:

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WHY IS NEW INFORMATION COMING OUT FOUR YEARS AFTER SANDUSKY WAS CONVICTED?

Penn State and its insurance carrier are fighting over whether the insurer will have to cover Sandusky-related claims and have obtained sworn depositions from key witnesses and other documents or information that had not previously become public. The presiding judge, after requests from The Associated Press and other media outlets, released some of that information.

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WHAT ARE THE NOTABLE NEW REVELATIONS?

A judge had previously disclosed that there were allegations Paterno fielded a complaint about Sandusky in 1976. The documents include portions of the accuser's deposition in 2014 saying Paterno, when told that a boy had been molested, responded that he didn't want to hear about it and had ''a football season to worry about.'' Another man says in 1987 an assistant football coach witnessed Sandusky fondling him and then walked out of the room. That coach died four years ago. A deposition by former assistant coach Mike McQueary, who complained to Paterno after seeing Sandusky and a boy in a team shower in 2001, said former Penn State coach Tom Bradley ''said he knew of some things'' about Sandusky dating to the '80s, though Bradley's lawyer flatly denied he saw any abuse. The records include an opinion from an expert working for the insurance carrier that payments by Penn State to victims seemed very high and could be a result of the school's concern about publicity and desire to get the scandal behind it.

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WHAT DO PATERNO'S FAMILY AND PENN STATE HAVE TO SAY?

Paterno family lawyer Wick Sollers said in a statement that there were ''numerous specific elements of the accusations that defy all logic and have never been subjected to even the most basic objective examination.''

Penn State President Eric Barron wrote to people connected to the university to say ''the alleged knowledge of some former Penn State employees is not proven'' and that speculation divides the Penn State community.

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DO THESE DISCLOSURES SETTLE ANYTHING ABOUT WHO KNEW WHAT AND WHEN?

Much of the new information is contained in sworn depositions, but they involve matters that date back 30 or 40 years. Paterno died in 2012, and the school's top administrators who dealt with complaints about Sandusky are awaiting criminal trials and generally have not been willing to speak in detail in public about what they know.

Some of the claims and statements in the newly public records were immediately disputed, and it's unlikely the latest disclosures will end the impassioned debate that has raged around the Sandusky scandal since 2011.

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