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"NCAA Football 14" Image: Electronic Arts.

Spurred by a major reversal by the NCAA, video game giant Electronic Arts says it is in the "early stages" of exploring the "possibility of including players in EA Sports College Football," a company rep tells Axios.

Why it matters: EA, once the subject of a major lawsuit from NCAA athletes over the use of their likeness in the company's video games, seemingly has the option to use them again, as restrictions against paying college athletes fall.

Catch up quick: The rapidly changing state of play comes from a late-June ruling by the Supreme Court that bars the NCAA from limiting academic benefits to college athletes.

  • Yesterday, the NCAA said that it would no longer bar players from profiting off their name, image and likeness.

What they're saying: "We are watching the recent developments regarding student-athlete name, image and likeness very closely. It’s still very early stages at this point, and we plan to explore the possibility of including players in EA Sports College Football," the EA rep told Axios.

Between the lines: EA has long been a powerhouse in sports video game development, but ceased its production of NCAA-branded basketball and football games by 2013.

  • A 2009 lawsuit led by former UCLA star Ed O'Bannon against EA and college sports organizations over apparent use of athletes' likeness in EA's games, resulted in a $60 million settlement.
  • EA announced its return to college sports gaming in February, with "EA Sports College Football." At the time of the announcement, EA said it was working with the Collegiate Licensing Company to feature more than 100 teams, but no players.

What's next: EA's new game has no release date, and the brand-new rules for college athletes are something many businesses will need time to figure out.

Go deeper: The next era of college sports

Go deeper

Inside Tennessee's sports betting slump

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Sports betting in Tennessee dipped to a low point in August, but the return of football season is sparking optimism that things will pick up in the coming months.

Why it matters: Since legalizing sports gambling in November 2020, Tennessee has generated nearly $28.9 million in gambling tax revenue, according to updated data released last week by the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation.

  • But August was the worst month for the state since legal betting took effect. Just $2 million in tax was generated on $144.5 million total wagers.

Why the Fed might want to jolt the markets

Fed chair Jerome Powell at a hearing earlier this month. Photo: Brendan Smialowski-Pool/Getty Images

So far, financial markets are cooperating nicely with the Federal Reserve's efforts to restrain inflation. They're doing the Fed's work for it by creating tighter financial conditions, in a distinctly non-panicky way.

  • But as the central bank's policymakers meet this week, an underlying question they face is whether the adjustment is happening too slowly.
Kate Marino, author of Markets
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Omicron outbreaks were bad for business in January

Data: New York Federal Reserve Bank; Chart: Axios Visuals

Emerging anecdotal evidence shows just how hard the recent rise in COVID-19 cases hit businesses in early January — but that hasn't hurt some business leaders’ longer-term views of their companies' prospects.

Why it matters: Increasingly, the economic recovery has come in fits and starts that move in tandem with new peaks in cases. Look no further than the thousands of canceled flights and shuttered Broadway theaters in the wake of the Omicron variant's spread over the last few months.