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Houston moving forward with blue alternate jerseys despite threats of legal action from NFL

NCAA Football: Texas-San Antonio at Houston
USATSI

The University of Houston will move forward with alternate blue uniforms for all sports despite a cease-and-desist letter from the NFL, the Houston Chronicle reports. The Coogs debuted the jerseys ahead of the 2023 season opener against UTSA.

The NFL threatened legal action against Houston after the Cougars debuted the uniforms, which were similar to the Houston Oilers’ “Luv Ya Blue” jerseys of the 1990s. Houston did not explicitly reference the Oilers and claim that that blue color has been used across Houston. 

“We literally have a story we can show the city uses it,” Houston athletic director Chris Pezman told the Houston Chronicle. “This isn’t a reach. This is a layup. We’ve got a very defensible position.” 

The NFL’s letter claimed that it told Houston seven months before the 2023 season that it did not approve of them using the jerseys. However, the university ultimately opted to move forward with the uniforms. The color is slightly different and referred to as “Houston blue.” 

Notably, Houston’s city jerseys came a few years after rival SMU debuted “Dallas jerseys”, paying tribute to old NFL jerseys from Cowboy predecessors. The Cougars’ embrace of blue jerseys also comes as many around Houston have complained about the Houston Texans not being allowed to wear Oilers throwbacks. The Oilers ultimately became the Tennessee Titans, and the NFL has granted the Titans rights to the Oilers’ history. 

Houston will give the NFL several weeks to respond. 

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