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Focus : AREA COLLEGE NOTEBOOK

Parris Makes Cut, Back With Matadors

October 26, 2000|VINCE KOWALICK

A properly groomed Jeff Parris returned to the basketball court Wednesday for Cal State Northridge, ending speculation that he might sit out the season rather than conform to Coach Bobby Braswell's team grooming standards.

Parris, a senior forward and among the Matadors' best players, was a conspicuous no-show Tuesday at media day after failing to meet Braswell's deadline for players to spruce up their appearance.

Parris arrived at practice Wednesday, his hair and beard trimmed to Braswell's satisfaction.

"He took care of what he needed to take care of and now it's over with," Braswell said. "He came in and his face was shaved and he was in order."

Parris, seeming surprised by publicity surrounding the controversy, considered the matter much 'do about nothing.

Parris said he missed media day and subsequent practice to attend to "a personal matter." He said he groomed himself Wednesday with the intention of returning.

"Me and the coach had a misunderstanding," Parris said. "I shaved myself [Wednesday] and I had one of my teammates [cut my hair]."

Braswell said Parris will lose his starting position--temporarily, at least--as punishment for missing practice. Parris, who averaged 11.9 points and 4.6 rebounds last season, said he accepts Braswell's decision.

Parris planned to address the team after practice Wednesday but declined to elaborate.

"That's team business and it's personal," Parris said. "With this program, we're like a family."

Teammates considered the issue closed.

"Discipline is not my department," forward Brian Heinle said. "Jeff is back and we're just going to play basketball."

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