Let's forgive George Toliver, but let's not blame someone else—IRS agents and prosecutors—for his troubles.
—RICHARD F. TEETSEL TONAWANDA, N.Y.
I was disappointed not to see Mark O'Meara on your cover following his brilliant win at the Masters (Out of the Woods, April 20). O'Meara is a great golfer and earned his win, but at 41 he will not have many more chances at this title. He deserved to be front and center this year.
PETE TATHAM, London, Ont.
You barely mentioned how brilliantly Fred Couples played for four days, except for those few bad moments on Sunday, and how graciously he accepted what must have been a heartbreaking loss. What a perfect example of how an athlete should conduct himself.
LILLIAN GOULETTE, Garden Grove, Calif.
I loved Rick Reilly's touching commentary on the memories evoked by Jack Nicklaus at this year's Masters (THE LIFE OF REILLY, April 20). Nicklaus's humility, a trait often missing in today's young athletes, impressed me. His run at the title at age 58 reminded me of his immense talent during his prime.
JOHN PAPANIKOLAS, Salt Lake City
Refs and the IRS
NBA referee George Toliver's frustration at facing criminal charges rather than just being allowed to make good on the taxes for his unreported income is bewildering (Called for Traveling, April 20). It's akin to a shoplifter getting caught and expecting to face nothing more than having to pay for the item. It doesn't work that way, whether you try to steal from a retailer or from the government.
Toliver speaks of a "mistake" that "slipped through the cracks." I might have some respect for him had he come out and admitted that he did something very wrong.
STEW THORNLEY, Roseville, Minn.
It's easy to be sympathetic about the plight of the four NBA referees and their underreporting of airline-ticket income, and it's apparent that George Toliver is a good man. Please spare us, however, the insult of implying that these refs were ignorant of what they did. No jury would believe that this was anything but a concerted attempt to hide income.
STEVE SORG, Covington, Ky.
Latrell Sprewell's contract cannot be terminated for attacking his coach, but George Toliver's can be ended for tax evasion?
KEN CORWEN, New York City
Why not allow these officials a second chance, similar to the NBA's drug rehabilitation program?
ZACHARY FREEMAN, Ann Arbor, Mich.
A year ago you ran a story about Orioles centerfielder Brady Anderson's leaping from 16 to 50 home runs in one season at age 32 (Brady Hits 'Em in Bunches, April 14, 1997). This was credited to his hard work and mental game. No suggestion was made that he may have used performance-enhancing substances. In your story on the muscle-building supplement creatine (The Magic Potion, April 20), Anderson "enthusiastically credits creatine" for improving his performance. It turns out he has been taking creatine supplements since 1991. When asked if he would recommend it to kids who want to use it, he thought for a while and then responded, "I don't know." I find this very disturbing.
ERIC CARBON, Fairbanks, Alaska