Jones Passes On Hoops

FAYETTEVILLE -- Arkansas freshman receiver Marcus Monk traded in his shoulder pads for gym shorts when he showed up at basketball practice Monday.

But quarterback Matt Jones has decided he won't join his football teammate on the basketball court this winter.

Jones' father, Steve, said the senior will pass on another chance to play for coach Stan Heath and the Hogs in order to concentrate on the 2005 NFL Draft. It officially closes the door on Jones' collegiate career four days after he left basketball options open following Arkansas' 43-14 loss to No. 14 LSU in Little Rock.

"It's time to turn the page and go on to the next thing," said Steve Jones, who added it would've been impossible to play basketball and prepare for the NFL Draft.

Jones is hoping to receive an invitation to play in the prestigious Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., which is attended by NFL owners, coaches and scouts, later this week. Steve Jones said his son also has an invitation to play in the Gridiron Classic in Orlando, Fla., and Jones will participate in one of the two games.

Jones joined the basketball team last January and played 17 games, averaging 5 points and 4.5 rebounds a game. He averaged 4.7 points and 3.6 rebounds in 28 career games. Jones is listed in the 2004-05 Arkansas basketball media guide, but will begin training for the NFL Draft shortly after classes end this semester.

"It's disappointing," Jones told a local television station Monday. "I love basketball and I had some great friends over there last year.

"But I think the best thing for me is to not play and try to concentrate on the NFL and the draft and the combine next year."

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