Former Penn State Coach Joe Paterno Has Lung Cancer
11/18/2011 AT 05:00 PM EST
Paterno, 84, is undergoing treatment for the disease, which was diagnosed last weekend during a follow-up visit for a bronchial illness, and "his doctors are optimistic he will make a full recovery," his son Scott Paterno says in a statement given to the Associated Press.
"As everyone can appreciate, this is a deeply personal matter for my parents, and we simply ask that his privacy be respected as he proceeds with treatment," the statement says.
The legendary coach lost his job after former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was accused of molesting eight boys over 15 years, both before and after his retirement in 1999.