SPORTS digest

Blaney wins Pocono pole in qualifying


Ryan Blaney was tops again at the site of his lone NASCAR Cup victory, turning a lap of 176.897 mph to win the pole Friday at Pocono Raceway.

Blaney won his first career Cup race in the June 2017 race driving for Wood Brothers Racing, which had an alliance with Team Penske. Blaney moved to the No. 12 Ford for Roger Penske this season and has had solid results.

Blaney has led 418 laps this season and is 11th in the points standings. He won his fourth career pole.

Kevin Harvick joins Blaney on the front row. He leads the series with five wins.

Jamie McMurray, Martin Truex Jr., and Kyle Busch complete the top five.

49ers’ Victor Bolden failed PED test


San Francisco 49ers receiver Victor Bolden has been suspended for the first four games of the regular season for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.

The league announced the ban on Friday. Bolden will be eligible to participate in the offseason and preseason games and can return to the active roster on Oct. 1, following San Francisco’s fourth game.

Bolden said in a statement that he unknowingly used a substance on the NFL banned list.

Bolden spent last season on special teams where he returned 19 kicks for 396 yards and four punts for 23 yards.

ACC/Big Ten Challenge pairings announced


Indiana visits Duke while North Carolina travels to Michigan to headline this year’s ACC/Big Ten Challenge in November.

The leagues released the schedule Friday, with the Hoosiers traveling to Cameron Indoor Stadium on Nov. 27. The Tar Heels visit the Wolverines the next day.

The rest of the schedule includes: Virginia at Maryland, Purdue at Florida State, Louisville at Michigan State. Minnesota at Boston College, Nebraska at Clemson, North Carolina State at Wisconsin, Illinois at Notre Dame, Pittsburgh at Iowa, Virginia Tech at Penn State, Georgia Tech at Northwestern, Rutgers at Miami and Syracuse at Ohio State.

Beilein interviewed for Pistons’ opening


A person with knowledge of the situation says Michigan’s John Beilein has interviewed for the Detroit Pistons’ coaching vacancy.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity Friday because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter.

Beilein led the Wolverines to the NCAA championship game this past season, the second time in six years he’d accomplished that. Michigan lost to Louisville in 2013 and Villanova this year.

The Pistons are searching for a new coach after Stan Van Gundy’s ouster. Van Gundy spent four seasons as coach, and he was also in charge of basketball operations.

Beilein has coached at Michigan for 11 seasons.

ESPN first reported Beilein’s interview with the Pistons.

Ex-Texans cheerleaders suing franchise


Five former Houston Texans cheerleaders are suing the NFL franchise, alleging the team failed to fully compensate them as required by law and subjected them to hostile work environment in which they were harassed, intimidated and forced to live in fear.

At a news conference, Hannah Turnbow said she and other cheerleaders were treated “the lowest of the low.”

The lawsuit was filed Friday in Houston federal court.

Prominent women’s rights attorney Gloria Allred, who’s representing the cheerleaders, said the women were not fully paid for their long hours of work because of their gender.

Texans spokeswoman Amy Palcic said in a statement the team is proud of its cheerleader program and constantly reviews it to make sure it is “enjoyable for everyone.”

Staff/Wire Report

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