I don't know if it's feasible, but could ND restructure the UA and/or NBC contracts to allot a portion of our share to a head coach? What about aircraft -- put one plane at the head coach's discretion, including (taxable) personal travel. An ND-owned lake compound, Chicago condo, membership at a good club (near SB, or the Harbor Shores club, French Lick, etc.)?
You can't force a coach to come. You also can't assume one will come because of some "affinity" for the school. Harbaugh wasn't going to crawl to Ann Arbor -- Michigan had to demonstrate they meant business.
We should take this as a good thing. A major hiring will come and go, without draining the pool of a candidate ND could have hired. We have a full year to figure out who we want and how to get him. If the need is mooted, great. If not, we have no reason to be flat-footed yet again.