A son of the late Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno on Friday dismissed as "bunk" a new court document alleging his father knew that his assistant Jerry Sandusky engaged in child sexual abuse as far back as 1976.
In a Twitter post, Scott Paterno denied that "Papa" Joe was told about such abuse decades before the alleged incidents became public and led to Sandusky's conviction, a scandal that rocked the world of college football and cost the elder Paterno his job.
His family and many of Penn State's loyal supporters have long insisted that Paterno, one of the most revered figures in the history of collegiate sports, had no knowledge of his trusted assistant's transgressions.
The fresh allegations came in a court opinion by Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Gary Glazer in a civil case involving Pennsylvania State University and an insurer over who should pay for settlements with Sandusky's victims.
In the opinion, the judge wrote that witnesses had testified that Paterno was told of abuse at least three times before the alleged incidents that led to Sandusky's 2012 conviction.
"Because of a single sentence in a court record of an insurance case, Joe Paterno's reputation has once again been smeared with an unsubstantiated, 40-year-old allegation," the family said in a statement.
Sandusky, 72, is serving 30 to 60 years in prison after a jury convicted him of molesting 10 boys in incidents dating back to the 1990s.
The new allegations came to light late Thursday, the same day that Sandusky was granted a hearing later this month to press his case for a new criminal trial.
The elder Paterno was fired in 2011 after revelations that he knew Sandusky sexually abused a young boy in the school's football showers in 2002 and that, while he told university officials, he failed to notify police.