"However, make the football team disappear, and nothing happens to the university... except perhaps less bad publicity"
Uh.....not exactly. There are only two sports that generate any meaningful amount of revenue 1) football and a distant second, mens basketball. Without football the other sports would be out having bake sales on the strip trying to get money for uniforms. Further, significant university fundraising centers around football. How many more fat checks do you think UT would collect from the Haslems if there was no football program.
Tax dollars notwithstanding.......
"Thankfully, replacing Hamilton is neither necessary nor eminent at this moment"
The "thankfully" part of this statement is highly debatable, and the "eminent" part is tenuous as a heavier NCAA shoe could fall on the basketball or football program at any moment.
Signing Pearl to a contract that provides unprecedented protection from breaking the rules, and following that up with hiring an unscrupulous mercenary like Kiffin should equate to at least two strikes against Hamilton.