By: Resource and Expansion Consultant Jason Sweet, Saginaw Valley State ’09

“Jordan, Jordan, a drive, hangs … fires … SCORES! HE SCORES! The Bulls lead 87-86 with five and two-tenths left, and now they’re one stop away!”

I can still hear Neil Funk of the Bulls’ radio network yelling with elation as the Chicago Bulls took the one-point lead in Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals over the Utah Jazz and capped off (at that time) Michael Jordan’s illustrious career in the NBA, with his sixth and final NBA Championship.

Jordan is arguably the greatest person to ever play the game of basketball, however, his championships did not come until the last six years of a 14-year career (which eventually became 17 years after a brief comeback with the Washington Wizards). So why then did he fail to win more championships? After all, he was the best.

I would argue, though I’m sure some would disagree with me, that this is because he did not have the right people on the court with him, and he did not have the correct coach to lead the team.

Fraternity has the same dynamic.

Every chapter has a leader, whether that is the president or another member, there is someone who sets the tone for the rest of the group. In successful situations, this person is just like Michael Jordan. On his own he can be extremely good, but without the right supporting cast, he can never be great and the team can never reach its pinnacle.

What role do you play?

Are you Michael Jordan, the superstar? Scottie Pippen, the always dependable No. 2? Dennis Rodman, the grinder? Steve Kerr, the court general? Or are you Phil Jackson, the mastermind and coach?

While an undergraduate, you affect what happens on the court. As an alumnus, possibly even as a member of the BOG, you are the one who puts the game plan in place and coaches our young men to success, because you can no longer dictate success from the front lines.

In fraternity, as in basketball, it’s necessary to have all the right people. It begins with recruitment (drafting, trades and free agency), continues through membership orientation (coaching) and is enhanced through our alumni dedication (mentoring and practice).

Put all of these pieces together and you have put your fraternity on track to succeed … to be the best.

Take a hard look, does your fraternity have the right people on the court?


I challenge you to make it happen.

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