Dr. Stanford Lavine, the Washington Redskins' team physician since 1976, resigned Thursday after he was told by the team's executive vice president, John Kent Cooke, that the Redskins wanted to put an additional doctor on their medical staff, sources said yesterday.
Lavine, an orthopedics specialist who also is the University of Maryland football team's doctor, apparently became upset when Cooke told him they planned to add Dr. Charles Jackson, another orthopedist, to their staff.
Lavine, sources said, preferred not to share the orthopedic duties. He resigned immediately and apparently left Cooke's Redskin Park office upset, those sources said.
When reached yesterday at his office, Lavine said the reason he resigned was "incompatibility between the owner's son and me."
Cooke, owner Jack Kent Cooke's son, responded: "He may have found me incompatible, but I never found him incompatible. I admired his work."
Although Lavine declined further comment, it was learned that he was upset with some aspects of the job and was considering leaving the Redskins at the end of the season. He has a successful private practice in downtown Washington.
Lavine, sources said, also had some financial disagreements with the Redskins, was upset with the departure of former team dentist Dr. George Totten, and questioned some internal procedures regarding player personnel.
Apparently, both of the Cookes, as well as Coach Joe Gibbs, believed that, with the rise in injuries to Redskins players -- mirroring the situation throughout the NFL -- the team needed two orthopedic specialists. Neither Jack Kent Cooke nor Gibbs would comment on the matter.
But one team official said, "These are $300,000, $400,000, $500,000 decisions, and we feel two (orthopedic) doctors can make the decisions better than one.
The Redskins now are in the process of trying to hire a second doctor to join Jackson, who is on the staff at Arlington Hospital.
Dr. Donald Knowlan, who is in general practice at Arlington Hospital, also is on the medical staff.
In another medical matter, Redskins head trainer Bubba Tyer said punter Steve Cox has not seen neurologist Dr. Bruce Ammerman, as the club announced Thursday, and still has not been cleared to play in Sunday's 1 p.m. game against Detroit at RFK Stadium. Cox will be examined by Ammerman this morning, Tyer said.
Until earlier this week, team doctors were unaware that Cox, who spent four seasons with Cleveland before joining the Redskins when Jeff Hayes was injured, had surgery in 1983 to insert a shunt (tube) in his brain to allow spinal fluid to pass through.
Apparently, a mixup in communications between Tyer and the Redskins' public relations office led to the release of the incorrect information Thursday.
"I don't know how it happened," Tyer said.
Owner Jack Kent Cooke said: "It's a clear and simple misunderstanding."
A member of the Redskins' medical staff said he and the other doctors were "shocked" Monday afternoon to find out about Cox's 30-minute operation in August 1983, which is described in Cox's biography in the Browns' media guide.
Yesterday, General Manager Bobby Beathard accepted responsibility for not having known about the surgery.
Beathard said he asked the standard questions of the Browns' personnel department: "How he did as a kicker, his strengths and weaknesses, what kind of guy he is. They never mentioned anything else, but it's my responsibility to find those things out."
Cox had his best season last year following the surgery, averaging 43.4 yards per punt.
Right guard Ken Huff (broken left big toe) will start against the Lions, after all, assistant head coach for offense Joe Bugel said yesterday after practice.
"We'll see how long he can go, but he'll definitely start," Bugel said.