Huggins pays WVU $4 million to leave. WVU pays Huggins $4 million if it wants him out the WVU Coliseum door.
In Rodriguez's final deal, the one he bolted in mid-December 2007 for Michigan, the termination figure also was $4 million before Aug. 31, 2008 (as Rodriguez and Michigan learned when they eventually paid the buyout). It would have been the same - date-for-date, dollar-for-dollar - had WVU dumped RichRod.
In Holgorsen's term sheet, things are very different.
If the coach leaves WVU of his own volition before next Dec. 8, he pays $2 million. If he goes before Dec. 8, 2014, it's $1.5 million. If it's any date after that, the buyout due WVU is $1 million.
His contract runs through Dec. 13, 2016. Those final two years could be oh-so costly for West Virginia. Why?
Let's say football life in the Big 12 provides a degree of difficulty even greater than expected, and WVU struggles to go 7-6 and 5-7 in 2013 and 2014, respectively, and the natives are restless and Luck decides a change is in order in the big office in the Puskar Center.
If Holgorsen leaves on or after Dec. 9, 2014, he pays WVU $1 million. If West Virginia chooses this "termination by convenience" after that date, the school has to pay Holgorsen $5.05 million because the buyout language states "base salary and supplemental compensation for remaining years of Term."
That's two years in that case.
Is this the kind of thing on which Luck can gamble, considering the WVU athletic department operated at a reported $1.25 million deficit in fiscal 2010-11, and is about to have to eat about $1 million in unsold Orange Bowl tickets?
"My sense, from talking to other athletic directors, is that the terms of buyouts are all over the map," Luck said when asked about the inequity in the WVU and Holgorsen buyouts after the 2014 season. "One, I'm not sure there's an industry standard. Two, I think more of them are in line with what Dana has now."
Luck said he doesn't expect Holgorsen to leave, and "besides, the size of the buyout is typically irrelevant," and someone (coach and/or hiring school) will pay the freight.
The AD said he didn't think WVU would lose a coach now unless "he's going to a top 5 school, a Texas/Oklahoma or Michigan/Ohio State ... In my mind, a buyout is irrelevant in keeping a coach. If the coach wants to take another job, he will."
However, what if the shoe is on the other foot? What if the school wants to change coaches? What then?
It's going to be interesting to see what teams Nalley, Holgorsen and Luck forge into the coach's formal contract that's expected sooner than later.
Right now on paper, it's a much sweeter deal for Holgorsen than it is for the Mountaineers ... not that there's anything wrong with that.
Contact Sports Editor Jack Bogaczyk at ja...@dailymail.com or 304-348-7949.