AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The University of Texas may have bowed out of the legal fight with Virginia Commonwealth over the copyright of "Havoc."
Don't expect new Longhorns coach Shaka Smart to shy away from the coaching style that got him there.
Smart on Monday called a recent copyright tussle between Texas and VCU "comical."
"Havoc isn't a copyright. It's not a brand. It's a way of playing. At VCU it became a way of life of how we did things," Smart said.
"Havoc" is the name Smart gave to the Rams' 94-foot style of intense pressure defense in his six years at VCU. The team's warmup jerseys had the word emblazoned on the back.
VCU had registered "havoc" as a trademark with the state of Virginia, but did not register it on a federal level. Texas last month applied to federally trademark "HORNS HAVOC" and "HOUSE OF HAVOC" but withdrew those requests last week. Texas may have to look for new slogans to print, but that seems to matter little to Smart.
"I can use it whenever I want. I don't know if they're going to take me away to jail," Smart said. "If people want to fight about whether or not it can be on the back of your shirt, that's fine. To me it's less about the word and more about what you do out there."
Texas hired Smart last month after longtime coach Rick Barnes was fired after 17 seasons. Smart said his first five weeks have been a whirlwind of getting to know his new roster, putting together his staff and recruiting.
Smart is still living in a hotel. His wife and child are expected to move to Austin soon and the family will move into a house.
He is also expected to get formal approval this week on his seven-year contract worth nearly $22 million, with most of it guaranteed.
University of Texas System regents meet this week and their agenda includes approval of Smart's contract. The deal includes six years guaranteed with an optional seventh year. The first season will pay him $2.8 million. Annual raises push his salary to $3.4 million by year seven.
The deal also includes a $500,000 payment to VCU and a two-game series starting as early as next season, but Smart predicted those games will be three or four years out.
Smart's contract means Texas will be on the hook for nearly $40 million in guaranteed salary for Smart and second-year football coach Charlie Strong over the next six years. Strong replaced Mack Brown after 16 seasons and Smart said they have spoken about taking over Texas programs after highly successful coaches who had been at the school a long time.
"It doesn't matter who you replace, you want to instill your culture," Smart said Strong told him. "I enjoy being around him. He's so positive."
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