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Hillsborough school ordered to change Longhorns logo

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RUSKIN, Fla. (WFLA) – With 3,000 students, Lennard High School is Hillsborough County’s newest and fastest growing high school.

And now, it’s already time for a makeover.

The University of Texas cannot allow the school to continue using its logo, according to a letter sent to the school district last month. 

“It’s pretty similar but I never knew it was that similar,” said Devin Cowell, who begins his junior year at Lennard High this fall.

“The logo’s been around for too long. Some change is needed,” added Felenthean Mathews, who also begins his junior year at Lennard High this fall.

The University of Texas sent Hillsborough County Public Schools a letter dated May 20, 2019, saying it owns the rights to the Longhorn symbol and Lennard’s logo needs to go.

“UT enjoys significant goodwill, as well as strong and enforceable rights, in the LONGHORNS Marks,” the letter from UT’s attorney read. “Because this goodwill is extremely important to UT, the University cannot permit the unauthorized and unlicensed use of the LONGHORNS Marks in a way that is likely to cause confusion and dilution.”

When Lennard High School opened in 2006, it used the Longhorns symbol out of respect and admiration.

“They were excited about being the Longhorns. They were excited about the Longhorns at the University of Texas,” said Grayson Kamm, the communications and media officer for Hillsborough County Public Schools.

There were no procedures in place in 2006 to help schools avoid copyright issues, Kamm said. Those procedures are in place now.

The Longhorns will still be the Longhorns under the Friday night lights this fall, but they will look a little different.

In a letter sent to parents of Lennard High School students, Principal Denise Savino said in addition to the name staying the same, the school will keep the orange color of the logo.

However, the school had already planned to change to a slightly different “desert orange.”

“Personally, I am excited about the opportunity for our unique school to have a unique logo that is not shared or ‘borrowed’ but is all our own,” Savino wrote.

The school district said the changes will come gradually as it works with UT on implementing a new logo.

“When it’s time to replace your shorts for your basketball team after a few years, we’ll just buy something new. There shouldn’t be a lot of added cost to it because they’ve given us such a generous time table,” said Kamm.

So what do students want to see from the new logo?

“Just raw, just showing the decadence that we have with our school,” said Mathews.

The Lennard High School Longhorns will unveil a new logo by the 2019-2020 school year.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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