The donor collective at the heart of the Tennessee case paid to fly a high school quarterback to campus on a private jet, according to a person familiar with the case. Tennessee’s collective issued a statement saying that it had followed N.C.A.A. rules, and that its contract with the quarterback — which could allow him to earn a reported $8 million — did not require him to attend Tennessee.
Virginia’s participation in the suit raised the possibility that a number of other states with high-profile state-school athletic programs could join the legal action. Virginia’s attorney general, Jason S. Miyares, is an elected Republican.
Collectives first sprang up in 2021, when the N.C.A.A. — having lost a series of court cases that eroded its regulatory authority — declined to challenge a series of state laws that allowed players to profit from their name, image and likeness.
For much of the time since, there was little evidence that the N.C.A.A. was seeking to police these collectives. The New York Times has counted more than 140 collectives now operating at schools around the country, with budgets that can reach $10 million or more.
In just a few years, college coaches and players say, the money offered by collectives has become the dominant factor in recruiting and retaining athletes. Last year, for instance, the starting quarterback at the University of Iowa told The Times that he had transferred from the University of Michigan after Iowa’s collective made him a written offer outlining what he would be paid.