First, the KHSAA has asked the state's basketball coaches to form an advisory board much like the football coaches have. Starns would like to see S.T. Roach, the highly respected former coach at Dunbar High School, on that committee along with college coaches Kelly Wells, Happy Osborne, Tubby Smith and Rick Pitino (Starns worked under Pitino with the Boston Celtics).
"All these college coaches have a vested interest in what happens to basketball in our state. They will bring credibility and influence to the committee," Starns said.
He's right about that. No one can dispute those points.
But that was the easy part. Some of his other ideas are a bit more creative, or possibly controversial depending on your point of view.
"If the start of football season gets pushed back one week, cut out the bye week," Starns said.
Many others have wondered why not do that as well and still end the season at the same time it does now. Instead of giving teams 11 weeks to play 10 games, just play 10 weeks in a row. The idea for the 11-week season is to give coaches more flexibility in scheduling. However, the KHSAA is forcing teams to play district games on specified dates - and not in consecutive weeks - starting next season. It does seem logical to believe that a football schedule could be put together in a 10-week frame as easily as in an 11-week window.
"Football practice starts July 22. With the delay in the start of the season, let's have no passing leagues in the month of June and not let football coaches demand that football players be at weightlifting in June," Starns said. "Football already gets a spring practice. They have two practice seasons in the same school year. Basketball doesn't have that."
Controversial? Wait for this next point.
"Reverse the sports seasons. With the heat-related deaths associated with football in August, let baseball start July 15 as golf does. Have a state baseball tournament in early November. Then let football practice start March 15. The football playoffs would be the second week of June," Starns said.
Will that happen? Absolutely not.
But why not simply delay the start of each sports season by a week? Start basketball a week later and end a week later. Start spring sports seasons a week later and end a week later.
Basketball coaches say that's not possible because of possible conflicts with the NCAA Tournament and state tournament. The fear is that if UK hosted a NCAA event in Rupp Arena, the state tourney would be forced to move.
But there already are conflicts with the NCAA and the KHSAA works around them. Always has and always will be able to.
NCAA dates set in advance
NCAA dates are set years in advance. If UK gets a NCAA event, all the KHSAA has to do is alternate the order of the boys and girls state tournaments as it has done before.
That's a lot more practical than playing football in the spring or refusing to let football teams participate in passing leagues in June.
However, basketball coaches also have a valid point. Football is now getting a six-class playoff system, later starting date and spring practice. Never mind that this still all goes back to wanting to avoid a private-public split that a majority of the state's schools wanted. But if you are a basketball coach, it would seem like your sport is suddenly being ignored.
That's why forming a basketball advisory committee to work with the KHSAA is a great idea - and one a lot easier to implement than changing the sports seasons.