"For my mother to have five kids, to grow up on East 55th in the projects, to be a welfare recipient and to come from where she came from, that's huge," LeCharles Bentley said at the ceremony last year.The Ohio Department of Education doesn't present such a rosy view of Verneda Bentley. She has been accused of using money intended for the education of poor children to buy furniture for herself. And federal agents are investigating a fire that caused more than $1 million in damage at the nonprofit she runs.
"She's not on welfare anymore, hasn't been for the past 20 years, and she's raised five successful kids."
Overall, life has not been good to Bentley since he signed that huge contract with his home-town team. He blew out his knee in training camp, suffered through a severe staph infection, and might never play again. And now this. That smile in the photo probably hasn't been on Bentley's face very often lately.