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Axios Research and Business of College Sports; Cartogram: Axios Visuals

The first day of the NIL era got off to rip-roaring start. Deals were made, money was exchanged, and total chaos ensued as a century-old American institution crumbled and began anew.

What's happening: A lot. Here's a sampling of the news from Thursday.

  • NCAA Football: Electronic Arts is exploring the "possibility of including players" in its beloved college football video game that disappeared in 2014, a company rep tells Axios.
  • Barstool Athletes: Barstool Sports is offering the title of "Barstool Athlete" and free merchandise to athletes they want to sponsor. The idea came together at the last minute, but they've already signed a big name: Villanova star point guard Collin Gillespie.
  • Package deal: Arkansas WR Trey Knox and his dog "Blue" signed a deal with PetSmart.
  • Paid gigs: Marshall football player Will Ulmer can now earn money playing live country music shows — and no longer has to use the alias "Lucky Bill."
  • Now on Cameo: Iowa State QB Brock Purdy and RB Breece Hall joined Cameo, the personalized video service.

The state of play: 27 states have passed NIL laws and 16 are already in effect. The NCAA has instructed schools in states without NIL laws to craft their own rules.

  • Bill passed, effective July 1: Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas
  • Bill passed, not yet effective: Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri (awaiting governor signature), Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, South Carolina, Tennessee
  • Awaiting governor signature: Missouri
  • Bill introduced: Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia
  • No bill introduced: Alaska, Delaware, Idaho, Indiana, Maine, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Go deeper

Democrats sound alarms in state legislatures

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Democrats are leaning into efforts to raise their numbers in state legislatures — with an emphasis on candidates of color — as red states like Texas and Georgia pass restrictive voting and abortion laws.

Why it matters: States are responsible for many of the laws with the greatest direct impact on people's daily lives. But Republicans control 30 state legislatures and the GOP has the trifecta — the governorship, state House and state Senate control — in 23 states, while Democrats do in 15.

Oversight Board calls for more Facebook transparency

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Facebook Oversight Board on Tuesday called on the social media giant to "commit to transparency" in the wake of a Wall Street Journal report last week that millions of high-profile users get special treatment by content moderators.

Why it matters: Although initially funded by Facebook, the Oversight Board operates independently as a kind of Supreme Court for the platform. The company has agreed to obey its rulings on specific content disputes, but the board's broader policy advice is strictly on a "recommendation" basis.

Major companies vow to train, hire Afghan refugees arriving in U.S.

Chobani founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya. Photo: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images for Global Citizen

More than 30 major companies have promised to hire and train Afghan refugees coming to the U.S., per a press release from the Tent Partnership for Refugees, the group spearheading the effort.

The big picture: The 33 companies, including Amazon, Facebook, Pfizer and UPS, are joining the Tent Coalition for Afghan Refugees, a coalition founded by Hamdi Ulukaya, the founder and CEO of food company Chobani.