Michigan State Professor Suspended After Students Find He was Previously Convicted for Running a Meth Lab

Brendan Doyle
Brendan Doyle Twitter

A Michigan State University instructor is on leave after the school learned about a criminal history involving methamphetamine that was not discovered by the background check prior to his hiring.

Brendan Doyle was slated to teach a kinesiology class this fall semester at MSU. Following some erratic behavior by Doyle, including frequent and sudden cancelations of classes, students received an update from the department informing them he was being replaced.

Doyle was Busted for Running a Meth Operation in 2020

MSU says it was informed on Sept. 15 about articles available online from 2020 about Doyle's involvement in a meth lab in Thibodaux, Louisiana that was busted by the Lafourche Parish Sheriff's Office.

In March 2020, Lafourche Parish sheriff's deputies found a meth lab "under a bridge over a canal" with "smoke coming from a bucket," according to a press release from Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre.

The deputies soon connected Doyle — then a professor at Nicholls State University — to the lab and obtained arrest warrants, but discovered he had fled the state.

Months later, they arrested Doyle after he was seen packing a moving truck at his residence. He was charged with "creation or operation of a clandestine laboratory for the unlawful manufacture of a controlled dangerous substance," according to the release.

Capt. Brennan Matherne of the Lafourche Parish Sheriff's Office said the department has records confirming Doyle was charged for his role in the meth lab and was sentenced on Jan. 21 2021 to 180 days, of which he served 90.

Students Tracked Down Doyle's Shady Past After Becoming Suspicious of His In-Class Behavior

Despite the apparent arrest record in Louisiana, Doyle's background check came back clean, according to university spokesperson Dan Olsen. But, students in Doyle's class quickly sleuthed out his past after his behavior in class raised suspicions.

Kinesiology sophomore Mackenzie Allbee, who was in one of Doyle's classes, told The State News that students were suspicious of Doyle from the start. On the first day of class, he had a "yelling outburst" telling "students to shut up" and said he would not answer questions about MSU's D2L assignment software because he "didn't know how to use it," Allbee said.

Then on the second day of class, Doyle had "another outburst," she said, yelling at an MSU IT employee who was five minutes late to set up a livestream of the class. That was the last time Allbee saw Doyle. He canceled the next three classes last minute, saying he had "a stomach flu," according to emails obtained by The State News.

Looking for help with the assignments Doyle had left for students in his absence, Allbee joined a GroupMe chat with other members of the class. When she opened it, she saw dozens of messages as students found press releases and news articles about the 2020 meth lab bust.

Doyle had registered as an educator at MSU under a different name, so students took some time to dig out his past. They then sent the news articles to the university authorities, who placed Doyle on leave.