FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas has agreed in principle to a contract extension and raise for athletic director Jeff Long.

Long will receive a raise that will bump his annual salary to $900,000 beginning July 1, 2013 with a chance for $300,000 more in incentives, according to a term sheet obtained through a Freedom of Information request Friday afternoon. The deal — which must be approved by the university’s board of trustees —  spans through June 30, 2017 and includes a $1 million buyout for the first two years.

The term sheet was signed on Oct. 23 by Long. The timing of the decision makes sense with Arkansas searching for a new football coach.

The deal – which also shows the university would owe Long $1 million annually through the tenure of the contract if he is terminated for convenience — is likely being used a tool to show prospective football coaches the athletic director will remain with the Razorbacks for the next few years.

“I am very appreciative of your outstanding leadership of the Athletics Department, particularly during very challenging times, and your commitment to the University of Arkansas,” Arkansas chancellor David Gearhart wrote in the letter to Long, outlining the amendments to the contract. “I recognize that your strong leadership of our Athletic Department has attracted interest from other institutions and that the buy-out provision of your current Employment Agreement will end shortly after the conclusion of the current academic year.”