Donald Trump Calls to 'Bring Back' Penn State Coach Joe Paterno as Clashes Erupt Outside

The mention of the late football coach seemed out of place.

ByABC News
April 13, 2016, 8:52 PM

— -- As Donald Trump spoke to a crowd of close to 8,000 Pennsylvanians, he thought it prudent to bring up an old hero from the state.

"I know a lot about Pennsylvania, and it’s great. How’s Joe Paterno. We’re gonna bring that back? Right?...How 'bout that whole deal?”

Meanwhile, outside of the rally in Pittsburgh, hundreds of protesters gathered to protest Trump. Tensions ran high and obscenities flew from both sides when protesters and Trump supporters clashed after the rally let out.

Video obtained by ABC News shows protesters being pushed to the ground by police after a skirmish erupted; another video shows a local reporter being shoved by an officer.

Pittsburgh Police on the scene referred all requests back to their command station. A request for comment by ABC News has not yet been returned.

Paterno, the late famed head football coach at Penn State University, came under fire for his alleged role in covering up the abuses of former coach Jerry Sandusky. Sandusky was convicted and sentenced to 30-60 years in prison.

Paterno died in 2012, two months after he was fired from Penn State.

Trump's campaign later clarified that he was talking about a bronze statue of Paterno that used to stand in front of Penn State’s Beaver Stadium.

It was torn down in 2012, mired in controversy after a highly critical report compiled by former FBI director Louis J. Freeh implicated Paterno, along with three other university administrators, in a cover-up of allegations of sexual abuse made against Sandusky.

Paterno's family has maintained his innocence.