The college sports sanctioning body last month banned the school from bowl competition for four years, levied $60 million in fines and vacated all of the wins under Paterno dating to 1998.
The penalties came in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. An official Penn State investigation carried out by former FBI Director Louis Freeh determined Paterno and others concealed key facts relating to the crimes of the longtime former assistant coach.
Sandusky was convicted on 45 counts of sexual abuse against 10 boys over a 15-year period.
Lawyers for the Paterno family sent an official appeal letter to the NCAA asking for an opportunity to file a written response to the sanctions.
"Due process will not hide the truth and will only illuminate the facts and allow for thoughtful, substantiated conclusions, not extreme and unfounded opinions, such as those offered in the Freeh report and relied upon by the NCAA," the letter said.