Of all the ways to lose an elite recruit, this probably has to be the strangest.
Ex-Temple star Rick Brunson was the leading candidate to join Fran Dunphy's staff in part because his son Jalen Brunson is a promising point guard and consensus five-star recruit in the Class of 2015. The thought was hiring the elder Brunson as an assistant coach could give Dunphy the edge he needed to entice the younger one to join the Owls instead of picking Michigan, Michigan State, Illinois, Kansas or one of the numerous other high-profile programs pursuing him.
That idea blew up in Temple's face Thursday when the elder Brunson was indicted on charges of attempted criminal sexual assault, criminal sexual abuse, aggravated battery and domestic battery stemming from a June arrest at a Chicago fitness center. Brunson pleaded not guilty to the charges, but that hardly matters for Temple's purposes because the accusations alone make him unhireable .
According to a 12-page police report, Brunson used Patrick Ewing's name to book an appointment April 2 with a female massage therapist who had told him she would no longer treat him. Brunson told police that he often used aliases during his playing career. He and Ewing were teammates with the New York Knicks for parts of two seasons.
The masseuse told police that Brunson was undressed when she entered the room, and she "reluctantly agreed to massage him since he was already there." The details of the alleged assault were redacted from the report. The woman said "she was in a daze after the incident and could not recall much of her time with Brunson after the abuse concluded."
No matter how much Dunphy might want to land Jalen Brunson, there's no way he can hire the elder Brunson with these kinds of charges hanging over his head.
Temple is still one of the contenders to land Brunson, but to do it the Owls will have to out-duel a half dozen more prestigious programs without the advantage of having the prospect's father on staff.
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