The ridicule that ensued was almost instantaneous. Tweets poured in:
UCF disavowed any knowledge of the trophy, saying in a statement, "We have no involvement with the trophy or creating a rivalry game with UConn."
A week later, a defiant Diaco defended the "rivalry" to the New Haven Register: "They don't get to say whether they are our rival or not. We might not be their rival, but they don't get to say whether they are our rival -- that is for us to decide."
"They said there was a trophy, and we kind of giggled and were like, 'Are they serious?'" UCF tight end Jordan Akins said. "We have no idea why. We have no idea where he was trying to go with it."
Myers tried to be diplomatic: "I think that rivalry was a good thought, but it wasn't executed very well."
UConn beat UCF in 2015, so the trophy got to stay in Connecticut.
But Scott Frost took over as UCF coach for the 2016 season and soon became aware that there was a "rivalry" game that needed his attention.
Shortly before the teams played in October, Frost said UCF asked UConn not to bring the trophy on to the field. They were officially opting out of the rivalry game.
"We decided we wanted to treat every game the same, so we told them we weren't going to accept the trophy if we won," Frost said.
UConn brought the trophy out, anyway. When UCF won, the trophy sat abandoned on a cold, metal bench. Later, a UConn staffer was seen covering the trophy with a towel.
"With a new coaching staff and a new regime coming into UCF there was really no knowledge of the trophy," UCF left tackle Aaron Evans said. "It wasn't personal. It wasn't meant to be offensive. They're fabricating a rivalry that -- what is the rivalry?"
"After we won that game and we got on the bus and everybody was saying that 'We left the trophy! We left the trophy!' And I was like, 'What?'" Pittman said. "There's no conflict here."
"I had no idea the trophy was on the sideline," Frost said. "We certainly didn't leave it there intentionally. We informed them beforehand we weren't going to take part in it, and I didn't know even that it was on the field until after I read all the tweets and media reports that it was left there."
"I treat every game the same, and I don't care if there's a trophy or not," Myers said. "If there's a trophy involved so be it, but it doesn't bother me that they left it."
The trophy was last seen being put back in its crate, but nobody can recall which staffer boxed up the trophy.
Nobody can recall whether the trophy ever made it back to campus.
The following week, a defeated Diaco announced at his weekly news conference that the trophy would no longer be a part of the UConn-UCF game, sounding part conspiracy theorist, part beaten-down mad scientist.
"I didn't create this thing out of nowhere," Diaco said. "Did I think of the idea? Yeah, I did. This wasn't one-sided until they decided that it should be, and you know why that happened. I'm sure everyone could connect the dots on that one.
"It was well-intended. I apparently failed."
A reporter asked what would become of the actual trophy.
"You want to make a coat rack out of it?" Diaco said, never divulging where, exactly, the trophy had been placed.
Investigation update: In late December, UConn fired Diaco. Athletic department officials had the entire football facility searched to find the trophy.
They came up empty.
Diaco, now defensive coordinator at Nebraska, declined an interview request about the trophy's whereabouts.
And so, what became of the Civil ConFLiCT Trophy remains one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of our time.
The final word: This week, in the run-up to the first UCF-UConn game in the post-Civil ConFLiCT era, Diaco and Frost both weighed in.
Frost, via AAC conference call: "Is that an honest question? No, we have no idea. In fact, we've wondered where it is. We told them before the game last year we weren't going to take the trophy if we won. It found its way to the sideline for some reason. The pictures on social media of it on the sideline were the last I'd seen of it."
Diaco, via the Omaha World-Herald: "I've eliminated it from my mind. I put the experience in a chest, locked it, dumped it into the ocean, and I threw away the key. That's the important thing. I've thrown the key away. I don't even know 'it" or what you're talking about because I've eliminated that whole painful part from my mind."
Tips line: If you have any information on the whereabouts of the Civil ConFLiCT trophy, drop us a line at CivilConflictTips@gmail.com