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Cox, Gardner Fined After Fight

December 21, 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. Cox had no comment.

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. 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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