Trump Asks Pittsburgh Crowd How Deceased Football Coach Joe Paterno Is Doing

Donald Trump / AP

Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump appeared to forget Wednesday that legendary Penn State football coach Joe Paterno is dead when he asked a crowd of supporters in Pittsburgh how the late coach is doing.

Speaking at a rally of about 8,000 people, Trump told the audience, "I know a lot about Pennsylvania, and it’s great. How’s Joe Paterno? We gonna bring that back? How about that whole deal?"

Paterno died in 2012, two months after leaving Penn State in the wake of a child sex abuse scandal that many people felt he did not do enough to combat. Former coach Jerry Sandusky was convicted and sentenced to 30-60 years as a serial child molester, and Paterno was accused of covering up his activities. Paterno’s family has maintained his innocence.

The university also removed a bronze statue of Paterno that had stood in front of the football stadium on campus.

It was unclear at first whether Trump mistakenly thought Paterno is still alive or was referring to the statue.

The Trump campaign later confirmed he was talking about the statue, but many people mocked the real estate mogul on Twitter for his comments.

Trump was speaking at the rally about bringing the coal industry back to Pittsburgh, according to For the Win, a sports site part of USA Today.