The NCAA's major conferences approved a rule Friday in San Antonio requiring that school medical professionals have complete authority in deciding when an athlete returns to play from a concussion or other injury, a move lauded as a significant health and safety protection.

The move sets a strong wall between team doctors, trainers and coaches, officials said.

"I believe it's the most important piece of legislation in the history of the NCAA," said Brian Hainline, the NCAA's chief medical officer and a neurologist. "It really defines who the primary athletics health care providers are."

The rule requires schools ensure that no coach have hiring, retention or dismissal authority over the team doctors or trainers. It was proposed by the Big 12 and passed at the NCAA annual convention in San Antonio.

Baseball

Arrieta, Cubs face big gap

NL Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta had the largest gap among 35 players who swapped proposed figures with their teams in salary arbitration.

After going 22-6, Arrieta asked Friday for a raise from $3.6 million to $13 million. Chicago offered $7.5 million, leaving the sides $5.5 million apart.

Fewer than three dozen cases remain among the 156 players who filed for arbitration Tuesday. Many were settled Friday.

MLB to change TV package rules

•Major League Baseball fans are already the winners in a lawsuit scheduled for trial next week. The league told a judge it has agreed to let consumers buy single-team television packages for the first time as long as they live outside the team's market. Pricing information about them has not been released.

College football

Alabama stars to go pro

Alabama Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry and defensive lineman A'Shawn Robinson are heading to the NFL as underclassmen.

Henry said he has been told he projects as a second-round pick. Robinson, an Outland Trophy finalist and Associated Press All-America, is projected as an early first-round pick.

broadcasting

Mortensen has cancer

ESPN reporter Chris Mortensen announced that he is stepping away from his NFL duties while receiving treatment for Stage IV throat cancer.

Mortenson, 64, joined ESPN in 1991.

"I have many inspirational examples of men, women and children who have faced this very fight," Mortensen said. "We all know somebody, right? … I have a peace about this and look forward to the battle."

Golf

Snedeker stays in lead

Brandt Snedeker played bogey-free and shot a 5-under 65 for a one-shot lead over Kevin Kisner after the second round of the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu.

Snedeker was at 12-under 128.

Kisner missed three birdie putts from inside 10 feet but eagled his 15th hole and shot a 66.

AROUND THE HORN

Crime: A California coroner said imprisoned former NFL and Nebraska running back Lawrence Phillips committed suicide Wednesday but released no other details.

Swimming: Michael Phelps won the 100-meter butterfly in an Arena Pro Swim Series event in Austin, Texas., finishing in 51.94 seconds. Katie Ledecky won the women's 400 freestyle in 3:59.54, the fifth-best time in history.

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