NFL to UH: You Can't Wear Those Uniforms

League sends cease-and-desist to university over throwback uniforms
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 31, 2023 3:30 AM CDT
NFL to UH: You Can't Wear Those Uniforms
Houston Oilers logos cover pads at Nissan Stadium before an NFL football game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Tennessee Titans Sunday, Oct. 29, 2023, in Nashville, Tenn.   (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

The NFL says the University of Houston's new football uniforms are a no-go. UH unveiled the uniforms during its home opener on September 2. They feature a throwback design inspired by the Houston Oilers, founded as an AFL team in the city in 1959 before ultimately joining the NFL when the two leagues merged and then later moving to Tennessee in 1997 where they now play as the Tennessee Titans. The UH uniforms are similar in color and design to what the Oilers wore during their "Luv Ya Blue" era, though not identical, CBS Sports reports. The NFL sent the team a cease-and-desist letter this month threatening legal action if UH players continue to sport them, the Houston Chronicle reports.

Upon debuting the uniforms, UH said, per NBC Sports, they were "part of a nostalgic moment, paying homage to a bygone era in the city's football history while also recognizing the city's connection to the light blue that was a recognizable fixture for years in the Houston Police Department." The university did not specifically cite the Oilers or "Luv Ya Blue." The NFL, however, says the jerseys are an example of "blatant copying" of the Oilers uniform and that wearing them "violates the intellectual property rights of the NFL." It says that seven months prior to their debut, the league informed the school "we did not consent to the Houston Cougars' use of the uniform at issue or any similar designs." (More NFL stories.)

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