Some people in Spain agree national team coach Julen Lopetegui had to go. Others believe the chaos on the eve of the World Cup just made a bad situation worse.

Lopetegui was fired Wednesday, two days before Spain’s opening match against Portugal, because he accepted a job Tuesday to coach Real Madrid next season.

Luis Rubiales, the former head of Spain’s players union who was elected as federation president last month, said he was forced to fire Lopetegui because he had been left in the dark by his coach and by Madrid. Former Spain great Fernando Hierro was named coach a short time later.

NCAA eases rules on athlete transfers: College athletes will no longer need permission from their coach or school to transfer and receive financial aid from another school.

The NCAA Division I Council approved the change effective Oct. 15 on Wednesday. The council also decided D-I football players will be allowed to play in up to four games in a season without losing a year of eligibility if they can no longer play because of injuries “or other factors.”

The long-awaited transfer reform ended up being a narrow change, but should provide more freedom for athletes to transfer when and where they want.

Under the new rule, athletes would be permitted to be contacted when they notify their current coaches, who have two days to enter the names into a database created and managed by the NCAA that will alert schools who can be recruited. The change will come with stricter tampering rules to help appease coaches who worry illegal recruiting could rise.

Coaches killed in Florida shooting to receive ESPY awards: The ESPYs are breaking tradition for this year’s Best Coach Award, awarding it posthumously to three Florida high school coaches who died shielding their students from gunfire.

Family members of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School heroes Aaron Feis, Scott Beigel and Chris Hixon will receive the honor during the award show July 18 in Los Angeles, the ESPN network announced Wednesday.

The award has previously gone to coaches who guided their teams to extraordinary performance — not for heroism off the field.

Hall of Famer and Olympic gold medalist Anne Donovan dies: Anne Donovan, the Basketball Hall of Famer who won a national championship at Old Dominion, two Olympic gold medals as a player and another as a coach, died Wednesday of heart failure. She was 56.

Donovan’s family confirmed the death in a statement.

Donovan was at the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tennessee, last weekend.

Terps’ McNair dies after being hospitalized following workout: Jordan McNair, a University of Maryland football player hospitalized after an organized team workout two weeks ago, has died.

Maryland executive athletic director Damon Evans said McNair was hospitalized May 29 and died Wednesday. He was 19.

The school would not disclose the cause of death.

McNair was a 6-foot-4, 325-pound offensive lineman preparing for his sophomore season. A graduate of McDonogh High School, McNair played one game last season.

Former Cowboys cheerleader files lawsuit against team: A former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader has filed a federal lawsuit against the team, alleging she wasn’t paid for all her work and made less money than the team’s male mascot.

Erica Wilkins, who worked for the Cowboys from 2014 to 2017, is seeking “unpaid overtime wages, minimum wages, and all other available damages,” citing the Fair Labor Standards Act, according to court documents filed Tuesday. The lawsuit said female cheerleaders were paid at a rate less than “Rowdy,” the mascot.

The lawsuit claims Wilkins’ usual pay rate was $8 per hour, but that payment was sometimes incomplete, and the team’s male mascot made $25 per hour and about $65,000 per year.

— Associated Press