In April 2014 Rick Brunson, the father of five-star 2015 point guard Jalen Brunson, was charged with sexual assault in regards to an incident with his then-massage therapist. The situation came at a time in which the younger Brunson had yet to choose a college, and with Temple being one of the schools in the mix the assumption in some circles was that the two could possibly be a package deal of sorts.
Late last week Rick Brunson was finally afforded the opportunity to tell his side of the story in front of a judge, and he was ultimately acquitted of all charges. With that occurring Rick spoke with the Chicago Tribune about the case, its impact on his son during his senior year of high school and whether or not the two could have gone to Temple together as some speculated.
Rick dismissed that possibility, noting that the job he discussed with Temple head coach Fran Dunphy was a non-coaching position. With that being the case, Jalen (who committed to Villanova last September) wouldn’t have been able to join the program for two seasons per NCAA rules.
“My son always wanted to go to Villanova,” Brunson said. “Nobody understands this. He never, ever wanted to go to Temple with me. I’ve never coached him at any level. Would I have wanted him to play for me at Temple? Of course. Would it have been right as a family? You’re damn right. But would it have been wrong for him? Yes.
“I have a lot of love and respect for Fran Dunphy because he understood that I couldn’t force my son to go to Temple. It was a long shot for him to go there. Jalen wanted to have a chance to play in a Final Four. Of all the schools that recruited him, he felt Villanova has the best shot of playing in a Final Four this coming season.”
Brunson played four seasons at Temple before spending eight in the NBA, with the connection to his alma mater being a factor in discussions between he and Dunphy. With this situation being resolved, it’s a weight off the shoulders of both Rick and Jalen, with the younger Brunson preparing for his first season at Villanova.
Stevenson High (Illinois) rising senior Jalen Brunson is a top-15 recruit and is arguably the top point guard in the Class of 2015.
The five-star floor general narrowed down his list of options to eight back in May. On Tuesday night, Joe Henricksen reported Brunson had scheduled three of his five official visits. The 6-foot-1 point guard will remain in-state for his first visit, going to Illinois on Aug. 29-31. Brunson will head to Philadelphia the following two weekends, heading to Villanova on Sept. 4-6 and then Temple from Sept. 11-13. Later in the week, Brunson revealed his final two official visits. Henricksen also reported Brunson will be at Michigan State from Sept. 19-21. That will be followed by a trip to Purdue on Sept. 26-28, according to Reggie Rankin of ESPN.
The third visit is the most intriguing. In June, a report surfaced that Jalen’s father, Rick Brunson a Temple grad who both played and coached in the NBA, would be added to Fran Dunphy’s coaching staff as an assistant. However, Rick Brunson was charged with attempted sexual assault and battery in July after an incident involving a masseuse. Hiring Rick Brunson was likely an attempt to land Jalen. A package deal like that is allowed by the NCAA.
Jalen Brunson is also considering Kansas, Michigan and UConn.
As a junior at Stevenson, Brunson averaged 26.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 2.9 steals per game. He dropped state tournament record 56 points in a playoff game against Jahlil Okafor and Chicago powerhouse Whitney Young. This summer, he was part of a USA Basketball U18 team that won the gold medal at the FIBA Americas Championships in Colorado Springs. Even in a reserve role, Brunson averaged 12.0 points and 5.6 assists per game in the five-game tournament. He also shot the ball well from deep, at a 40 percent clip. In 23 games on the Nike EYBL circuit with Mac Irvin Fire, he averaged 11.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game.
Rick Brunson, a former NBA player and the father of top 15 recruit Jalen Brunson, has been indicted on a number of charges stemming from an incident that occurred with a masseuse at a fitness center in Chicago in April.
Brunson has been charged with attempted criminal sexual assault, criminal sexual abuse, aggravated battery and domestic battery, according to the Chicago Tribune, and has pled not guilty to all the charges.
The victim alleges that Brunson used a fake name — Patrick Ewing — to book a massage in April because months earlier she had informed Brunson that she would no longer massage him. Brunson was arrested earlier this month.
The biggest reason that this incident is newsworthy is that Brunson was reportedly set to be hired by Temple as an assistant coach, with the assumption being that bringing Rick into the program would be enough of an enticement for the Owls to land Jalen as well.
Rick Brunson was arrested on June 25, charged with attempted sexual assault, sexual abuse, and third-degree aggravated battery. Brunson was reportedly going to be hired as an assistant coach at Temple.
On Tuesday evening, it was Lisa Black of the Chicago Tribune reported that Brunson used the name of a former NBA player to book a massage appointment at a Life Time Fitness Center on April 2.
For three years, 2010-2013, Brunson had booked massages with the same masseuse, but due to an undisclosed issue in 2013, the unidentified masseuse informed Brunson she would no longer no longer give him massages. On April 2, Brunson booked a massage under the name “Patrick Ewing”.
“Brunson admitted to her that he booked the massage under a different name. … (She) believed he used a fake name to book the massage because she had told him in 2013 that she would not massage him anymore. (She) reluctantly agreed to massage him since he was already there,” the report stated according to the Tribune.
The fitness center revoked his membership a week later. That same day, he attempted to contact the victim several times.
On June 25, the same day as the arrest, it was reported Brunson would be set to join the Temple coaching staff. Brunson’s son, Jalen, is a five-star recruit, believed to be the top point guard in the Class of 2015 by Rivals. He is considering Temple, his father’s alma mater, along with many high-major offers.
Fran Dunphy will be making a change on his coaching staff, according to a report from Philly.com.
The Temple head coach will bring Rick Brunson aboard as an assistant, the report says. Brunson is a former player for the Owls from the John Chaney era. He spent almost a decade as a player in the NBA and has been an assistant in the NBA for a couple of different teams, most recently the Charlotte Bobcats, as well as a staffer at Virginia and as assistant with Hartford.
So Brunson has the résumé to deserve a spot on a collegiate coaching staff.
But that’s not what would make this hire interesting if it comes to fruition. (For what it’s worth, this hire has been rumored to be in the works for a while.) Rick’s son is Jalen Brunson, arguably the best point guard in the Class of 2015 and a top-15 recruit nationally. Dunphy already has three assistants on his staff, meaning that he will have to re-assign a current assistant coach to bring Brunson aboard. It would stand to reason that if he’s going to go through the process of making this hire, he’s going to bring aboard a coach that can, at the least, recruit his own son.
The NCAA passed a rule a few years back that eliminated these sorts of package deals by disallowing a family member — or a coach — from being hired at the same school as the prospect that he is associated with. The caveat is that the package deal is allowed as long as the coach or the family member is brought on as one of the three official assistant coaches.
According to the report, Rick will be hired as an assistant.
Does that mean that Jalen will be committing to the Owls? Brunson listed Temple in his final list of eight schools earlier this spring.