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What happens when your athletic department relies on a single industry?

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Athletic departments generate money in a lot of different ways. They might earn money from broadcast and multimedia rights agreements. They'll earn conference revenue distributions. They'll sell tickets, parking spaces, expensive hot dogs at sporting events. They'll earn money from student fees and other direct university support. They might even get an appropriation from the state government.

But for many schools, the most important funding source remains donors. If you're not getting a $60 million check from ESPN, you need rich people to buy your tickets, buy sponsorships, and just plain ol' give money.

That's an easier gig at some places than others. Finding rich people connected to Yale, for example, is not hard. Finding rich people connected to, say, a small-enrollment teacher's college, would be tougher. Some schools have massive athletic brands, capturing the attention of fans all over the country. Others aren't even the biggest draw in their own county.

Wyoming might have a particularly unique challenge.

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