Penn State is fighting back against a verdict that awarded one of its former assistant football coaches millions of dollars for his treatment after Jerry Sandusky's arrest on child molestation charges.

The university filed a brief dated Monday arguing Judge Thomas Gavin acted as an advocate for plaintiff Mike McQueary during the October trial.

McQueary was awarded more than $12 million for defamation, misrepresentation and violations of whistleblower protections.

The school wants the verdict reversed, a new trial ordered or the damages lowered.

Penn State says the judge inappropriately questioned witnesses in front of the jury.

The appeal concerns the defamation and misrepresentation claims the jury decided. Penn State says it will outline its appeal of the whistleblower verdict later.