updated 4/20/2012 11:54:48 PM ET 2012-04-21T03:54:48

The firing of a Penn State athletics official was connected to the investigation into the child sexual abuse case at the university, said two persons familiar with the situation.

Mark Sherburne, an associate athletic director, was fired this week, said the people who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because no one was authorized to speak publicly about the matter.

One person said Sherburne was dismissed for failing to produce in a timely fashion documents under subpoena by the state Attorney General's office related to its investigation into Sherburne's boss, Athletic Director Tim Curley. Curley is on administrative leave after being charged with lying to a grand jury and failing to report an abuse allegation against retired assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.

Messages left Friday at a number listed for Sherburne were not immediately returned.

University spokeswoman Lisa Powers declined comment Friday night since the matter was a personnel issue.

The person familiar with the firing said the documents were voluntarily produced and turned over to the attorney general's office.

It was unclear the types of documents in question, but the university has told staffers to preserve and produce documents related to the investigation.

Earlier Friday, both school President Rodney Erickson and Acting Athletic Director David Joyner declined comment, also citing a human resources issue.

Sherburne had stepped in for Curley for 10 days in November to head the department after Curley went on leave. Sherburne returned to his previous position after Joyner assumed the acting post Nov. 16.

Curley maintains his innocence as he awaits trial. Sandusky, who is awaiting trial on charges with dozens of counts of child sexual abuse, has also maintained his innocence.

A State College native, Sherburne worked in athletics since 2000.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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