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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

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 401(k) rollovers are so annoying

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

If you happened to change jobs recently, you may have tried to transfer your retirement account from your former employer into an Individual Retirement Account or your new employer's 401(k) plan. If so, you probably encountered a bureaucratic gantlet — and you're not alone.

Why it matters: Kludgey processes around retirement account transfers result in people losing track of their funds, giving up important tax advantages, or otherwise disadvantaging themselves and being less prepared for retirement.

The hard math behind America's labor shortage

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Congressional Budget Office; Chart: Axios Visuals

Yes, the pandemic has created unusual temporary labor market dynamics. But in the bigger picture, the 2010s were a golden age for companies seeking cheap labor. The 2020s are not.

The big picture: In the 2010s, the massive millennial generation was entering the workforce, the massive baby bo0m generation was still hard at work, and there was a multi-year hangover from the deep recession caused by the global financial crisis.