Hire the next up and comer, a band aid, or a swing for the fences type coach…if the boosters pay to get the mess cleaned up from the past two coaches then you can do anything. If you have to tip toe around the RF budget for the next 3-5 years then the first two options are all you have. I am actually ok with a band aid to get us on to the next great coach at the U of A. You would want to pay the first two options 2-2.5 million per year with performance bonuses. We can get the DC salary back down to 800-1 million. Stay at that pay scale for 3-5 years and you have paid off one of the old coaches. Paying another 4-5 million per year for just any coach does not make sense. I would put all kinds of clauses in the contract for buyouts based on record at the time of termination. Winning percentage equals the percentage the University owes in buyout. Colleges have to get this under control because it is a complete waste of money.
As long as the coach makes a great deal of difference in college football, and clearly he does (Saban vs. Morris for an extreme example) then the coaches have the leverage. If they don’t get what they want at Arkansas, they’ll go somewhere else where they will.
In other words, a coach who would accept the terms you propose, isn’t worth hiring,.
How big a mess is the entire football program from the Razorback Foundation to the equipment manager?