(H/T to PBReserve) This talk isn't new, it's been on the table for awhile (as the article notes) but the fact it's getting out now is worth commenting on. (Yes, it's been in the background and people knew but until now nobody put it out there. Why now?) One answer is it's that time of the year where everybody starts thinking about next year and what comes next and the decision-making window is only open for so long. Is this intended to gauge the response of the pro teams or the response of the NPPL? That would be worth knowing.
There is a faction within the NPPL Pro division that has argued for the discontinuation of promo/relegation. There has also been some serious talk about some teams bailing (just not as publicly as over in the NXL.) Then you've got the 6 teams paid in the Semi-pro division for Houston (as of today.) Doesn't exactly make a strong case for bringing up fresh, hungry teams and talent, does it?
[btw, rumor has it Jersey Authority will be temporarily "relegating" a couple of their best players to M.O.D. in order to solidify their hold on a semi-pro promotion slot. Oops!]
The argument is the division needs continuity and to establish itself in the mold of American pro sports and more importantly the teams need both the security and the accompanying added value. Without promo/relegation a mid-tier team struggling for sponsorship can now offer assurances they are and will remain a pro team, one of a limited number. See how security adds value? This is not a small thing--especially to the teams.
Against this you have the perceived value of promo/relegation which is making all games played important and the contention it forces all the teams to compete even if they are out of the series running or unlikely to outright win an event. (Don't play for love of the game, play outta fear of relegation.) The reality is nobody in the pro bracket accepts losing games nonchalantly and nobody in the pro bracket gains anything from losing.
But-- (There's always a but, isn't there?)
The problem is that promo/relegation is only a mechanism for dropping and adding teams. And getting rid of it doesn't really achieve the result some think it will. The reason for this is because there is no formalized relationship between the teams and the league. This isn't a pressing issue today. And it won't be one tomorrow if the league fails. It will only be an issue if the league begins to succeed in a bigger way. In the meantime even without promo/relegation the status quo would remain and that arrangement pits the teams collectively against the league in the effort to build support and develop sponsorship.
However you look at it--glass half empty, glass half full--it's a step in the right direction, I think, if this rumor becomes reality.