Former NFL star revisits his roots

LeCharles Bentley ‘98 installs a scholarship program affiliated with the Magis initiative

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By JUSTIN ADLER ‘18

When people hear the name “LeCharles Bentley” they often associate him with his storied careers with Coach Kyle’s Wildcat football team, Jim Tressel’s Ohio State Buckeyes, as well as the Cleveland Browns and New Orleans Saints. However, most people are unaware of his philanthropic efforts towards our very own Saint Ignatius High School.

On his very first day of training camp with the Cleveland Browns, Bentley suffered a career-ending injury in his leg that would not only threaten his chance of walking effectively, but his life itself. After reaching a settlement with the Browns franchise, he was influenced by his mother, Verneda, to give back to the school credited with his academic and spiritual formation. His contributions benefitted the fifth grade leadership program named in his honor as well as an endowment in his mother’s name to the Reaching Magis program.

“He does it for AMDG, the Greater Glory of God.”

This initiative, led by Jason Reed ‘95, Director of Diversity and Inclusion, prepares 5th through 8th grade students for the rigorous academic, social, and spiritual obstacles they will inevitably face throughout their high school careers. Bentley, along with an elect committee, selects young men who have demonstrated a desire to grow and excel in their academic, spiritual, and social lives, to receive financial assistance here at Saint Ignatius. Currently, there are six students on campus who possess this very scholarship, and he has chosen two more eligible freshman for the honor. Because of Mr. Bentley, 13 students have earned the chance to attend this institution and to better themselves as young men for others.

Additionally, Bentley founded the very first offensive line academy where he teaches aspiring young linemen proven techniques with respect to strength and on-field performance. He returned to campus just a few months prior to give a two hour seminar and on-field instructions to Northeast Ohio high school linemen and coaches about these methods. However, for Bentley, his lessons extend far beyond the gridiron; his number one goal for mentoring youths is to teach them valuable lessons they can apply throughout their lifetime. When asked about the rationale behind Bentley’s philanthropic efforts, Mr. Reed states, “He does it for AMDG, the Greater Glory of God.”