FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- An Arkansas fan who produced several dozen T-shirts critical of coach Houston Nutt surrendered his unsold items to the university after the school warned him he wasn't authorized to use Nutt's image.
Caleb Larru, 28, had black shirts printed with a cartoon of Nutt's face on the front. On the back, below a headline reading "National Championship Under Construction," was a list of statistics from Nutt's tenure at Arkansas, including the
Razorbacks' lack of 10-win seasons and Southeastern Conference
championships -- and their poor record against some of the SEC's top teams.
University attorney Scott Varady said Nutt's contract gives the school control over his image, name and likeness, none of which can be used for commercial gain without permission from the school. Arkansas has in the past objected to the use of the name Razorblades for a Little Rock hockey team -- and the name Razorback Rumble for a boxing match.
Varady said Larru also violated school policy by selling the
shirts on campus.
Larru, born and raised in Alma, said he gave up the shirts
because he was worried about losing his front-row season tickets.
Varady said he didn't threaten legal action or to revoke Larru's
tickets, but he didn't rule out the possibility.
Larru said he had 15 shirts printed "as a joke" to share with
friends before Arkansas' season opener against Southern California
on Sept. 2. Varady said Larru was making a profit of around $3 per
shirt on orders for a total of 44 shirts.
Varady said Larru made a post on a Web site indicating he was trying to sell additional shirts to people other than friends. Larru said his average profit was 18 cents per shirt and that making money wasn't his major goal.