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College football team to go forward with Houston-inspired blue unis despite NFL’s cease-and-desist: report

The Houston Cougars will continue with plans to use light blue alternative uniforms for their sports teams, a decision that comes months after the NFL sent the university a cease-and-desist letter claiming that the look was “blatant copying” of the Houston Oilers trademark. 

The university sent a letter to the NFL last month informing the league of its decision to move forward with the jerseys, the Houston Chronicle reported Wednesday. 

“We literally have a story we can show the city uses it,” athletic director Chris Pezman told the outlet at the Big 12’s spring meetings. “This isn’t a reach. This is a layup. We’ve got a very defensible position.”

“We’re doing it,” Pezman continued. “We’ve reviewed everything and come to the conclusion that we are going to proceed.”

Pezman told the outlet that school officials are giving the league “two to three weeks” to respond to their letter. As of Tuesday, the Chronicle reported that the league had not responded to the letter. 

Houston celebrates


The issue began on Sept. 2, the Cougars football team wore the light blue jerseys, which they called a tribute to “H-Town Pride.” But the league sent a legal notice to the school, believing they were too similar to the Oilers’ “Luv Ya Blue” era — the rights of which are owned by the Tennessee Titans after the franchise’s move in the late 1990s.

In the October letter, first obtained by the Houston Chronicle, the NFL said the university’s “attempt to free ride on the popularity of the NFL and the club violates the intellectual property rights of the NFL and (Tennessee) Titans.” 

Will Levis throws the ball in his first NFL start

Pezman told the outlet that the university is working on a new design that still pays respect to the city’s football history. A timetable for their release has not been finalized. 

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