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Cox, Gardner Fined After Fight

December 22, 1995

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) _ If the $17,500 fine Bryan Cox received for his latest antics wasn’t enough, the Miami Dolphins linebacker will also have to answer to coach Don Shula.

Cox was fined $17,500 Thursday for fighting with Buffalo fullback Carwell Gardner and spitting toward fans as he was escorted off the field during the Bills’ 23-20 victory over the Dolphins on Sunday. Gardner was fined $15,000 for fighting and trying to bait Cox from the locker room and team bus.

``I have spoken to Bryan about his behavior, and I regret that it happened,″ Shula said in a statement. ``The league has fined him substantially for fighting and for his conduct leaving the field. Regarding any additional action the club might take, I will address that issue following the conclusion of the season.″

Both players were fined $10,000 each by Gene Washington, the NFL’s director of football development, for the fight with two minutes remaining in the game. Both were ejected.

Cox received an additional $7,500 fine by NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue for conduct detrimental to the league for the spitting incident.

Gardner was penalized an extra $5,000 by Tagliabue after being pushed away by security guards. He also attempted to draw Cox off the bus before it left Rich Stadium.

``They fined me $7,500 for spitting because the cameras caught me. And this guy was supposedly trying to get into the lockerroom, and they fine him $5,000,″ Cox told WQAM radio in Miami. ``Spitting is worse than fighting? That doesn’t make much sense to me.″

Gardner has denied both incidents despite witness accounts. He will appeal the fine.

``I didn’t try to get into the locker room, and I didn’t try to get on the bus,″ Gardner said. ``I didn’t do none of that.″

The fight started after Cox tackled Thurman Thomas on a crucial third-and-2 play. Cox and Gardner came away from the pile shoving each other before the altercation escalated.

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