Organizers have canceled the "Rise and Rally Bowl," a three-day celebration involving Penn State's senior football players that was scheduled to be held next month in Atlantic City.

In a statement released Tuesday night, the organizers said they decided to cancel the Jan. 5-7 festivities because the Maxwell Football Club of Philadelphia is set to honor the seniors at its annual awards dinner March 1 at Harrah's in Atlantic City.

"In this economic environment, it is difficult for many fans to attend both events," the statement said. "Holding both events within weeks of each other in the same location didn't seem appropriate."

A person with knowledge of the situation but who did not wish to be identified said the organizers were not pressured by Penn State's athletic department to cancel.

The "Rise and Rally" event was created to allow the seniors to "enjoy a bowl-like atmosphere" in the absence of a real bowl game because of NCAA sanctions. Organizers said "hundreds of fans" bought tickets or donated money for the event, and all will be refunded in full.

- Joe Juliano