The family also is appealing the NCAA decision, saying in a letter to the athletic organization that it acted "hastily and without any regard for due process," the Centre Daily Times of State College, Pa., reported.
The letter, sent Friday by Paterno family attorney Wick Sollers, called the NCAA punishment "unprecedented."
"This matter may be the most important disciplinary action in the history of the NCAA, and it has been handled in a fundamentally inappropriate and unprecedented manner," the letter addressed to NCAA President Mark Emmert charged.
Sanctions include a $60 million fine, a four-year bowl game ban and cuts in the number of football scholarships.
The family disputes the finding of a report by former FBI Director Louis Freeh which led to the sanctions. They charge the report reached incorrect conclusions.
The Freeh report found that Paterno, the longtime and highly successful Nittany Lions football coach who died of cancer in January, and several other university officials hid knowledge of sexual abuse of young boys by former Paterno assistant Jerry Sandusky, who was convicted on 45 counts in June.