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Utah State football: Aggies still mum on trademark decision
USU notes » Wells says of chant: “Utah State … made it what it is.”
First Published Jul 23 2014 03:57 pm • Last Updated Jul 24 2014 05:41 pm

Las Vegas • While Utah State officials said they are still deciding how to respond to San Diego State’s attempts to trademark the slogan "I believe that we will win," a mantra made popular by the Aggies’ basketball fans, Utah State football coach Matt Wells said the issue is clear to him.

"I was at Navy when they first started that chant, but it was Utah State that made it what it is," he said. "We own it."

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Who actually owns the rights may not be settled for several more months.

The Aggies trademarked variations of the slogan in 2012 and trademarked the whole slogan in February of this year. However, USU used a state trademark, whereas San Diego State is going after a federal trademark. The school started using the chant in 2010-11 and wants full control of how the slogan is used, according to school officials.

San Diego State filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for usage of the slogan on any caps, hats, jackets, bottoms, shirts, T-shirts, sweatshirts and other clothing articles that use the words.

Tuesday marked the beginning of a 30-day period in which can others can file concerns with the patent office over the request.

The Aggies believe they will prevail, although they’ve yet to decide how to move forward, according to Tim Vitale, the school’s director of public relations and marketing.

Official changes

Ken Rivera, the MWC coordinator of officials, briefed media members on rule changes and points of emphasis for the upcoming season. The MWC is one of several leagues which will experiment with an eighth official on the field this year, an effort to help officials keep up with the quicker pace of spread offenses.

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The MWC was tops in the nation last year, averaging 194 plays a game, up from 178 plays a game in 2012.

Changes to the targeting rule fall in line with common sense. Last year, teams were still penalized even when an ejection was overturned. This year, the penalty will be negated as well if an ejection is overturned, unless a second personal foul is committed.

Rivera also discussed a change to "roughing the passer," which includes hits directed at or below the knees of an offensive player "in a passing posture with one or both feet on the ground."

Promo time

Also attending the media day events was Michael Kelly, the former ACC associate commissioner who now serves as the chief operating officer of the College Football Playoff.

The format will pit the top four teams in semifinals that will rotate through the Rose, Orange, Sugar, Fiesta, Cotton, and Chick-fil-A bowl games. The Rose and Sugar bowls will host the first semifinals on Jan. 1 and the championship game will be held in Arlington, Texas on Jan. 12.

Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson was positive about the new format on Tuesday. Under the new format, the top-rated champion of the MWC, American, Conference USA, Mid-American and Sun Belt will be guaranteed a spot in a New Year’s Eve Bowl.

"We know they are excited about it," Kelly said. "We hope this is going to be a good change for everyone."

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