Republican presidential front-runner Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpSarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor The US-Iranian scuffle over a ship is a sideshow to events in the Gulf South Korea: US, North Korea to resume nuclear talks 'soon' MORE invoked the late Pennsylvania State University football coach Joe Paterno on Wednesday.

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“How’s Joe Paterno? We gonna bring that back?” Trump said during a rally in Pittsburgh. “How about that whole deal?”

Paterno died in 2012 shortly after retiring in the wake of a child sex abuse scandal that rocked Penn State. The university later removed a statue of Paterno, who many believed did not do enough to prevent children from being molested by another member of the coaching staff.

It was initially unclear whether Trump was calling for the statue to be replaced or if he mistakenly believed Paterno was still alive. Spokeswoman Hope Hicks said after the event that Trump was referring to the statue.

The real estate mogul was mocked widely on Twitter for his awkward phrasing.