Pacino is linked to a project based on Joe Posnanski's biography, Paterno, reports Deadline.
Paterno died in January after being fired by the university following the child sex abuse scandal involving his former assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky.
JoePa - as Paterno was often called - was later accused of concealing facts relating to the abuse.
As RadarOnline.com previously reported, Paterno broke down and sobbed the day he was fired, but the tears were for his shattered image and not the children who'd been molested by his friend.
Pacino is no stranger to playing controversial real-life figures and won an Emmy in 2010 for his TV portrayal of euthanasia advocate, Jack Kevorkian.
He has most recently also played Phil Spector in an as yet untitled TV biopic and attorney Roy Cohn in the miniseries Angels in America.