COLUMBUS, Ind. (AP) _ Although it probably won't achieve the success that ''A Season on the Brink'' enjoyed a few years ago, a Columbus businessman hopes his new book about Indiana University basketball coach Bob Knight wins a few fans.

Terry Whittaker, a bookseller from Columbus, has published 8,000 copies of ''The Legend of Bearby the Knight: A Sports Fable.''

The book tells the story of Bearby the Knight, a bear who bears a striking resemblance to the Knight down the road at Bloomington.

Bearby is hired by the King of the Hoosbears to bring the Banner of Champions to the Great Hall. He has help, including the Mighty Quinn, Benson of Kent and Sir Isiah of St. Joseph's.

The softbound volume, which sells for $7.95, resembles a children's book. But Whittaker says it can't be judged by its cover.

''It's a book, we hope, for all ages,'' said Whittaker, 45, who owns Viewpoint Books. ---

KINGSBURG, Calif. (AP) - His hometown has named a junior high school after Rafer Johnson, who not only is a former Olympic decathlon champion but one of the first blacks to live in this San Joaquin Valley farm town.

Rafer Johnson Junior High was dedicated on Sunday before several thousand people, including the honoree and his boyhood hero, Bob Mathias, who preceded Johnson as Olympic decathlon champion and grew up juist 25 miles away in Tulare.

''I'm so proud and pleased,'' Johnson said. ''It's a great responsibility to have a school named after me. I've been honored all over the world, but to be honored in your hometown, it's just very special.''

Johnson won his Olympic victory in 1960, four years after finishing second.

Johnson noted Sunday that he and his family were welcomed when they moved to Kingsburg in 1945 despite their race.

''There's no way I can possibly repay you for your years of kindness,'' he said. ---

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) - The head of Australia's Olympic Committee wants his country to fly a new flag without the British Union Jack at the 2000 summer Games.

Committee president John Coates, part of Sydney's successful bid team for the Games, said Monday that Australia needs its own national symbol.

''I would prefer to see something that's more identifiably Australian,'' he told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

Australia's flag features the Southern Cross star constellation on a dark blue background and the Union Jack in its is top left-hand corner.

Sydney was awarded the Games by the IOC on Thursday.

Coates is part of a judging committee set up by a private group, Ausflag, which is conducting a national competition for a new flag design. ---

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) - Former U.S. Open champion Mats Wilander may replace John-Anders Sjogren as Sweden's Davis Cup captain, a report said Monday.

Sjogren was considering leaving the job following Sweden's 0-5 loss to Germany in the Davis Cup semifinals, on Sunday, Svenska Dagbladet reported.

Before becoming head of the Davis Cup team in 1989, Sjogren coached Wilander, 29.

The newspaper said that in addition to Wilander, there were two other candidates: Carl-Axel Hageskog, a successful coach from Vaxjo in southern Sweden; and Martin Bohm, who coaches Swedish players Magnus Larsson and Nicklas Culti. ---

MILAN, Italy (AP) - Buckler Bologna and Benetton Treviso, last season's playoff finalists, were off to fast starts as the Italian basketball league began its season.

Newly signed American veteran Cliff Levingston and his Serbian teammate Predrag Danilovic scored 19 and 21 points, respectively, as they led Bologna, the defending league champion, to a 99-74 victory Sunday over Burghy Rome.

Americans Pace Mannion and Winston Garland scored in 19 and 17 points, respectively, in Treviso's 95-60 victory over Kleenex Pistoia.